Attack In Black


Written by: PP on 01/10/2007 03:13:24

Do you ever feel like music is becoming stale, that you've heard it all before, everything's generic and all the passion and feeling has been lost from music? Do you ever find yourself wondering if the previous year was the last one when you'd hear music so emotionally engaging and touching, that every time you listened to it, many years on you'd still remember what you were doing each time you were listening to that one album? People who have been with us for a few years now will surely recognize this as something I say on a yearly basis, when I feel like I'm ready to surrender in the wave of genericness crashing towards from every direction. As you might've guessed by now, this review is about a band that in short time has started meaning so much to me it's hard to put it into words. This review is about Attack In Black, (surprise surprise) originating from the Ontario, Canada music scene, and their debut full length album "Marriage", one of my votes for the album of the year.

So now to the hard part, convincing you why "Marriage" deserves such a bold opening statement. The easy way would be to tell you to go to the record store, buy the record, plug it into your stereo and tell you to press play and listen to the massive outbreak of pure love and passion in the first track "Come What May". Like all songs on the record, it isn't fast, it isn't heavy, or anything that sort, quite the contrary. The whole album takes a balladic approach, where sweet melody and metaphorical lyrics are at the centre. Singer Daniel Romano's voice is beautiful in its own scratched way, still full of melody and emotion. He doesn't need to scream to show his passion, it transfers through his laid back singing perfectly. You might even compare him to the Bear Vs Shark vocalist on the latters calmer passages.

The musicianship is some of the tightest I've ever heard on record, which helps the little nuances and details in their sound make the album so different from what everyone else is doing in the music scene today. Every song is breathtaking, giving chills down my back and demanding me to casually sing along with wettened eyes. But best of all, every song is interconnected with a theme, that of emotion and feeling. Each song is so different, but so similar at the same time, making it hard to comprehend how the band was able to write a record so unified in sound. Somewhere along the line when the band was writing this record, something has clicked, because how else would you explain the beautiful pianos and chords of "Inches And Ages" and its folk-rock / country sound that's perfectly fitted into their brand of emotional rock. The lyrics in the song are amazing, the metaphores some of the biggest I've heard in music to date: "Distances from star to star, like lonesome endless time, inches to our eyes, are ages in our lives" - and when they are fitted into an amazing chorus, it's an instant winner. Next track "Marriage" (my favorite track of the year) starts off more aggressive - reminiscent of Bear Vs Shark - and has passages that showcase the band's roots that were originally in hardcore during their first record. It's tempo and style switches are flawless as the song transforms from a semi-aggro style into one of the most touching ballads and back again, fitted with some of the best lyrics I've heard all year. As Romano sings with a loving but aggressive voice "and everyone with a soul will fall in love", chills go down my back and I instantly think of my girlfriend. The lyrics in the entire song are constructed brilliantly, effectively translating the song into a massive metaphor about marriage.. the final soothing instrumental session is only broken by occasional echoes of "a painting hung on every wall", a touching and genius allusion to what happens over the years of a marriage; the number of paintings in your wall is usually in proportion to the years you have been married. Did I mention the song was so full of feeling and emotion that I almost wanna get married straight away? I guess the best way to describe the lyrics is to say that they are simple truths about everyday life and relationships, written in a immensely poetic way.

It seems that the band can do whatever they please and get away with it, everything just works perfectly, as the next few songs show. "If All I Thought Were True" is the quietest and slowest song on the album, once again featuring touching and genuine metaphors to relationships. Think Moneen at their most balladic, slow it down to a crawl and you're close to imagening how this song sounds like... except it's way better than Moneen's equivalent. This coming from a huge Moneen fan as well. "Footprints" has a very real folk-rock guitar line but it still doesn't sway too far away from the overall sound of the album, somehow it just feels right.

There's something great about "Marriage" that I just can't put my tongue on. I'm not sure I'll be able to tell you exactly what it is that makes this album so amazing and so important to me. It could be that it draws from the sound of Moneen and the now defunct Bear Vs Shark, combining them together into something unique and irreplicable. It could also be that even two months into listening to the record, I still find new aspects about it that I hadn't noticed. Whether it's the slight changes in guitar tone, the jumps in vocal range by Romano, or something entirely different. But none of that should matter, because this is an album that everyone should get regardless of your genre preference. "Marriage" is simply indie flavoured rock at its very best. The only problem posed by the record is that it's going to be very, very difficult to top. Prepare to feel intense emotions throughout.


Download: Marriage, Inches And Ages, If All I Thought Were True
For the fans of: Moneen, Bear Vs Shark
Listen: Myspace

Release date 31.07.2007
Dine Alone Records

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