This Means War
16 January 2012
by Tomas Doyle
Lets face it, you’ve all probably made up your mind about Attack Attack! already – no, we’re not talking about the Welsh one, we’re talking about the crabcore one. Apparently the difference is the number of exclamation marks in their respective names(!). But there have been line-up changes at castle AA! since the much maligned ‘Stick Stickly’ video hit the world wide web so its at least feasible that the Ohio metalcore hate magnets could have turned it around, right?
Well, unsurprisingly, if you weren’t a fan before This Means War, there will be relatively little in its ten tracks to completely convert you. Attack Attack! are still mired in mid-paced beatdown territory, and it’s genuinely remarkable how little variation there is in the riffs on show. One juddering mosh moment blends into another until all impact is lost, and you are left wondering whether there was any quality control at work in the practice room or whether Attack Attack! just picked the first 20 bits of music to wriggle free from their strings.
Moreover, the smatterings of electronica on show are, for the most part, tacked on in such an arbitrary way that it is a struggle to view them as anything more than gimmicky nonsense for idiots. Yet there are positives- when they hit their stride melodically, Attack Attack! can push the right buttons in a way which so many bands of this ilk struggle to. ‘The Motivation’ is a real highlight, anchored as it is by a couple of glorious sections that bring to mind chart-bothering maestros Panic! At The Disco. High praise indeed.
Watch the video to ‘The Wretched’ by Attack Attack!:
The stark reality is that when they aren’t trying to play the mosh card every fifteen seconds, Attack Attack! are capable of some really nice moments which can permeate even the most cynical ears. Yet you have to plough through so much sub-standard guff to get to anything of even moderate quality, that it feels like something of a pyrrhic victory. Completely throwaway in almost every regard, Attack Attack! seem content to continue to tread the path of easy musical payoffs for little effort and but for a few glimmers of hope they will surely start see diminishing returns as fashions change and they struggle to keep up – they would do well to take a good long look at what it is they really do well.
Sounds Like: Asking Alexandira, Of Mice and Men
Standout Track: The Motivation