Attack! Attack!

The Latest Fashion

Written by: PP on 25/12/2010 23:52:07

Before we get started, lets just underline once again that this is NOT the American crab core outfit carrying the same name minus the first exclamation mark. Attack! Attack! originates from the UK instead, and their association with the 'scene' is flimsy at best, as their music can best be classified as conventional modern pop punk. It's very straight-forward, but at the same time less predictable as many of their US colleagues due to a less glossy, albeit still poppy and accessible sound. They sound a great deal like I'd imagine Cartel to sound like had those guys written a middle-of-the-ground album in between their debut and sophomore albums, with a hint of great melody peaking from the sound within occasionally, but mostly concentrating on a safe, radio-friendly sound throughout.

"The Latest Fashion" is their second album overall, and while it's an improvement of their lacklustre, somewhat boring debut album, it still suffers largely from the same problems as before. It's full of melodic guitar lines and light, accessible choruses dressed in a slick production suit, but it dares not to take any risks, resulting in songs that are good for solid background music but not much more than that. Most importantly, the record lacks strong lead single-type songs in the vein of All Time Low. "No Excuses" is a good candidate, but like a great deal of other tracks on the record, it carries a subtle sense of blandness to it that ensures it'll never be the 'next big thing' with a ton of momentum in the underground. The songs are up-beat and enjoyable through and through, but rarely strike the listener as something special. This is essentially my biggest grudge with Attack! Attack!, because their core sound is rock solid from start to finish, but they are missing that last step, be it a great lead hook or an infectious chorus melody that'd elevate the songs to the next level. Basically, the songs are targeted to the mass audience, who won't find ever notice the little quirks and details in the music, but listen to it on face-value. For that market, "The Latest Fashion" is likely to be extremely successful.

That is also why you see the British press recklessly over-rating this record by giving it titles like "the British album of the year" or "a beast of a pop punk record". It's one of those records they love to hype, but one that'll disappear from your playlist in a few weeks' time from arrival, if not sooner. With more highlight tracks this could be a great release, for now, it's merely a good one, that lacks the flair and character of the bands we like to grade in the 8s and above.


Download: No Excuses, Blood On Your Hands,
For the fans of: Cartel, All Time Low, Kids In Glass Houses
Listen: Myspace

Release date 27.09.2010
Hassle Records

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