You may remember Attack Attack! as the pioneers of the infamous ‘crabcore’ genre, known for their synchronised headbanging that somewhat resembles a crab, one dimensional breakdowns and auto-tuned vocals. If you do, and this makes you somewhat sceptical about ‘This Means War’, then you should be throwing all your preconceptions out of the window on this one, because AA! have grown up big time. This is big boy music now.
Sure, the breakdowns still litter the music, but now they pack such a punch that it’s impossible to write them off. Sure, there are hints of vocals being tuned, but they add so much to the music that it’s impossible to hold it against them. You get the picture. From start to finish, ‘This Means War’ is a great definition of modern metalcore and it shows up many of the genre purveyors. The album draws a line between subtlety and furiousness, a polarity that is fully explored on lead single ‘The Motivation’, with its keen vocal hook and crunching riffs lending to the huge sounding track. Opener ‘The Revolution’ hits home, and hits hard. Big, powerful riffs, commanding vocals and devastating breakdowns, it really sets a high mark for the album.
Songs like ‘The Family’ and ‘The Reality’ continue to pummel the listener with their big, hardhitting riffs, whilst ‘The Eradication’ tops the album off nicely with its formulaic sound, which is possibly the only down side to this record. It’s good, it just all sounds the same, which is somewhat of a shame, but when it sounds this good I’m not going to complain.
When the band returns to the UK in March for their second headline tour on these shores, I’m sure that they are going to tear these venues a new one. Just as this album will tear you a new one when you listen to it. Whatever you do, make sure you pick it up and see for yourself how much this band has grown.
Written by Oliver Thompson