With Attack Attack!’s newest release, This Means War, it should be utterly apparent to just about anyone that they want to bury their debut album and the scene-kids-with-a-synthesizer and crabcore stereotypes. They simply want to be a straight-up metalcore band.
Ridiculously low-pitched guitar tones provided by Andrew Whiting and John Holgado dominate the record, backed up by Andrew Wetzel’s work behind his kit. Meanwhile, Caleb Shomo takes on his normal screaming duties, while also taking charge of the clean vocals that appear when the band occasionally decides to take a break from being heavy. Shomo’s cleans are actually quite a pleasant surprise on the record, and mesh with his scream quite well. The piano intro to “The Motivation” (also Shomo’s work) is definitely something that This Means War could have used more of in order to add a few lighter moments to the album. Regardless, they aimed to produce a full-out heavy sound on the album, and they managed to do a pretty decent job. “The Family” is a standout track, which opens up with a driving riff, mixed with short screams from Caleb Shomo. Considerable bass drum work from Andrew Wetzel later gives way to a set of group chants, and then a breakdown. While the record isn’t incredibly abnormal, it’s still a solid metalcore effort, and Attack Attack! certainly shows that they can lay down heavy songs.
Needless to say, Attack Attack!’s fanbase has undergone a complete change since they first started out playing shows with Austin Carlile as a frontman. Their genre has changed drastically, and with it, their fans. This Means War may be pretty generic as far as metalcore goes, but it’s certainly still an album that fans can just throw down to.
Go listen to: “The Family” and “The Confrontation”