Attack Attack! – This Means War
Record Label: Rise Records
Release Date: January 17, 2012
For some reason, I had a bit of hope for this record – and then I pressed play.
I’m not sure why, exactly, but perhaps I thought This Means War would have a bit of an edge that Attack Attack! have severely lacked in the past. Perhaps I thought this album would be a reinvention for the band most well known for their style of “crab-core.” Maybe it was the fact that Joey Sturgis was not a part of this record that made me believe the sound would be something fresh; that, however, is not the case here. On the contrary, Attack Attack!’s third full length sounds almost exactly like their sophomore effort, the stale self-titled release back in 2009.
The barks of “Start the revolution” before the guys waste no time going into a breakdown on the opening “The Revolution” ensure that this is the same old Attack Attack! we’ve heard in the past. Rather than try any time of experimentation, the band seems stagnant and complacent with their sound. The only main difference from their last record to now is the different style of clean vocals – they now have a more radio rock type feel to them, which really doesn’t fit the drop-tuned instrumentation at all.
There are some nearly memorable parts here and there, such as the frantic “The Hopeless” where Caleb Shomo absolutely dominates as he tears apart his vocal chords, screaming his lungs out. Still, there’s nothing that makes This Means War stand out over any other record in the hackneyed genre; it’s all been done before. It even becomes hard to discern which song is which on the record, as they all blur together into one tedious scream-fest.
Shomo’s scream has become stronger this time around, even reminiscing A Day To Remember’s own Jeremy McKinnon at times. While his vocals remain strong, it’s the typical macho lyrical content and over-used drop-tuned guitars that make the record lack any true form of innovation whatsoever.
Even the final “The Eradication” provides no memorable climax to the record. As the war ends, it is one that seems fought without command, direction, or valor. Attack Attack! play it as safe as possible with This Means War, as any of these songs could have fit perfectly on their previous records.
There’s no doubt fans will dig this record, as it’s the same Attack Attack! they’ve heard for years. However, most will write this off as another generic release with no true substance or invention – it’s basically the third time Attack Attack! have written the same record. While I had hope that the guys would possibly release something different – and perhaps even creative – this time around, I was sadly mistaken. This Means War proves only one thing: Attack Attack! are staying on the safe side of the battlefield for the time being.
cannot agree with the review - the 3rd lp is at least harder and more brutal than the 2nd one, and thanks God there are no more songs like "Shut your mouth" or "Lonely". right, the album is rather generic Rise-core, but why do they need to reinvent the wheel?? the whole genre is generic!!