This Means War review by Attack Attack!

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  • Released: Jan 17, 2012
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 5.4 (105 votes)
Attack Attack!: This Means War
1

Sound — 8
Sure, we all know Attack Attack! for their goofy "crabcore" phase (marked by those ridiculous guitar poses, unhealthy amounts of electronics, and breakdowns, breakdowns, and MORE BREAKDOWNS). But what most of us didn't expect is that a truly good band was beneath that gimick-y exterior, just waiting for the right moment to emerge. Their self titled album was a step further, dropping tunings, bringing lower screams, and ditching (most of) their auto tune from "Someday Came Suddenly". It looked like Attack Attack! might not just be a gimmick, but an actually enjoyable metalcore band. "This Means War" is AA!'s most radical, and enjoyable, step in a heavier direction. The riffs have more zip, the drums are more lively, and the electronics (when used) help elevate the urgency of the heavy hitting songs within. Album opener "The Revolution" opens in pure AA! fashion, with heavy hitting riffs and breakdowns. But the true surprise to myself is how much more time is actually spent riffing rather than relying on breakdowns. "The Betrayal" and "The Reality" bludgeon with sick guitar tune and spaz drums, while "The Abduction" and "The Motivation" showcase more punky and poppy influences, respectively. Given the wide range of influences the band draws from on this CD, without drowning out their core sound, it's safe to say AA! are at the top of their musical game.

Lyrics — 7
Since the departure of Johnny (their usually auto-tuned clean singer), Caleb Shomo has been forced into the slots of both clean AND dirty vocalist. While it may seem forced to make a screamer sing, Caleb's clean voice is a lovely midrange that I'm personally surprised the band didn't utilize earlier. The screams fall into a more punk-y mid to high range this time, rather than his almost death growls on their self titled album. This change makes for a more passionate, almost pained delivery that's insanely pleasing. His cleans are best compared to Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco, and, unlike Johnny, AREN'T AUTO TUNED THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE ALBUM. Lyrically, the album is relatively strong, but occasionally falls into Metalcore/Scene cliches. Caleb's voice most certainly helps any lyrical weaknesses almost passable. "I put my life on the line for you, so why did you say goodbye?", Caleb blurts and growls in The Wretched with enough anger and passion to really tug the heart strings. The said line makes a prime example of his emotion carrying the lyrical weight throughout the album. In another surprisingly mature move, the album actually adds up to a theme. The album centers around loss, war, revolution, despair, and regret, and all the lyrics tie together in a pleasing, dramatic way.

Overall Impression — 7
RECAP. "This Means War" is possibly AA!'s chance to branch out to previous haters. The band shows a much more mature writing style that features less electronics, more passionate vocals, a relatively well written central theme, and more than a few riffs well worth learning for the "cool factor". Attack Attack! have made a leap in the right direction. With a few more tweaks to their sound, AA! could possibly find themselves in the company of Metalcore greats. For fans of: The Devil Wears Prada, My Ticket Home, Born Of Osiris.

59 comments sorted by best / new / date

    nate_dogg083
    Attack doesn't even do the "crabcore" style anymore live. I don't know why people still keep bitching about.
    TheAbsentOne
    I bet the majority of those reading these reviews and commenting with negativity towards the band/album have not even listened to it yet. This isn't the shitty "crab-core" auto-tuned techno-breakdown faggotry band they once were. It really seems like AA have come out of their awful gimmicky shell and become a real band. Listen to this album in it's entirety before you hate on it. If you've listened to it and still don't have anything but negative remarks, then that's fine. But listen to it before you say anything. Trust me, you could be surprised. Inb4 more hatred and my comment gets thumbs down.
    m4ss3 m/
    Pat_s1t wrote: This. It's literally the worst "djent" type album I've ever heard, the riffs were completely uninteresting and the choruses were more or less the same Attack Attack garbage. Fuck this band so hard.
    Dude, sorry but I gotta take my words back. As long as I try to forget that this band is responsible for their terrible "crabcore" past, this new album actually sounds pretty good. Though, I still think that they should get rid of the techno and dubstep parts.
    nate_dogg083
    Since 2010 Attack Attack! has used Sean Mackowski on tour to provide the clean vocals, but I haven't heard any indication if he is staying with the band while on tour since Caleb Shomo recorded both clean and screaming vocals on this album for the first time.
    He's still touring with them to do clean vocals for the self-titled/someday came suddenly songs
    SirDrunkalot
    First song I heard was The Confrontation. Don't hate it at all haha. Have to admit all songs are more or less the same deal.
    EDTanguma
    Ultimate-Guitar has to have the most biased fan-base I've seen on any music forum related website. Regardless, the people at the top of the site are fantastic and I love the website for who writes it... just not you belligerent comment-posting dipshits. I did like this album though yes, it is relatively generic for the genre.
    Aliens-exist182
    This is actually a really good album, just got it today, and this is an extensive, well-written review, good job man! Btw the drop G tuned riffage is a welcome change in my opinion, especially mixed with the clean vocals of Caleb, his voice is hectic! Very much Like Brendan Urie's indeed.
    Mysticlink
    I'm not a fan, but honestly after listening to a couple songs I can say it's a huge improvement. I can actually stand it this time, heh. Definitely not something I care to hear more than once though.
    BcRichRocker1
    I love this band but this album is a disappointment to me... however it did make it to #1 on the itunes rock chart and #2 on the overall. Even though its not my type of album, id much rather see it take the #1 spot over Adele lol
    vppark2
    SEbI666 wrote: this record is avutally very good! sounds really cool and the screaming reminds me of 2000 corey taylor
    Corey Taylor? r u serious? dude these guys sound like Atreyu now. Seriously.
    CoolMcAwesome
    oh yeah, in case anyone was wondering, and as if this needed to be said, but THIS IS NOT FUCKING METAL!!! THIS IS GARBAGE!!
    Pagan_Poetry
    CoolMcAwesome wrote: crab core needs to end.
    This is not crab core. There is no such thing as crab core. Identifying garbage as anything but garbage is only giving them the attention they think they deserve for their laziness. Crouching down low as you play does not warrant a trend or a label. If you put apple cores in the same bag as plastic and bottles, it's still trash. I'll rephrase this for you. Lazy, talentless hacks need to stop being promoted over more worthy bands/artists.
    leigh596
    i will admit this new phase is simple, but its not bad music. their old stuff was something you would laugh at but after seeing them live, they put on a great show and ill always be a fan
    luissoto42
    I don't like Blink-182, yet I don't go to EVERY SINGLE OF THEIR FORUMS and hate. if you don't like the record then don't listen to it. simple as that.
    kandyman5
    Travman93 wrote: I created my account here just so I can post this comment. You may not love the band or their genre, but post something constructive. You're basing much of your opinions over a pretty bad attempt at a meme that was somewhat popular on the internet years ago. They may not be the most talented musicians, but they're doing something they enjoy and they're popular because of it. Meanwhile, you're just another keyboard warrior drowning in a sea of anonymity. Sure, there are bands that I don't particularly enjoy, but will I go on endlessly bashing them because they don't precisely fit into a genre I enjoy, but I would never go about bashing them on the internet, or anywhere else.
    funny that this is exactly what i did too, made an account to let people know to stop wasting their time bad mouthing a band that is never going to care. AA will live their lifes out to the fullest and never know that they shared the earth with the haters. if you want to make a difference quit hating. at least it will be a difference to me. please respond to this with mounds and piles of hate emails, i'll even give you my email address so you can send me hatefull words. just know that i am not going to log back into this account, or check this thred again. so please waste your time inbetween WOW sessions ot hate on me too, it will make my day knowing how pathetic you all are
    SEbI666
    this record is avutally very good! sounds really cool and the screaming reminds me of 2000 corey taylor
    vppark2
    TheAbsentOne wrote: I bet the majority of those reading these reviews and commenting with negativity towards the band/album have not even listened to it yet. This isn't the shitty "crab-core" auto-tuned techno-breakdown faggotry band they once were. It really seems like AA have come out of their awful gimmicky shell and become a real band. Listen to this album in it's entirety before you hate on it. If you've listened to it and still don't have anything but negative remarks, then that's fine. But listen to it before you say anything. Trust me, you could be surprised. Inb4 more hatred and my comment gets thumbs down.
    Dude i could not agree more, at least someone thinks the same! I mean i dont hate their old stuff but come on, look at all of the top comments, r u ****ing kidding me guys? u still think this is crabcore..or is it tht u havent heard not one ****in song on this album yet? yup i think so. This is def by far a big improvement for these guys. I mean i heard the bonus songs from their deluxe reissue for their self-titled album and those songs were practically saying tht these guys r gonna change it up in the future. Not the best set or tracks, but this album is pretty good. Idk if im gonna listen to it more than once tho. Just sayin its good, but they need a little bit of wrk on some things. The recording of the cymbals ****ing blew big balls, but overall these guys hav really matured away from their old sound. Caleb's screams and cleans r so much better on this album. Just some ppl piss me off with their biased comments. Anyways, cant wait for their other stuff in the future.
    shaggydogJV
    I'm only here because the thumbnail looked like two cocks sprouting from 1 ballsack. Looking at the full sized picture, it still does.
    Armagedn
    To be honest, I think this stuff is an improvement over their old stuff. I mean, they had old stuff I didn't hate, but it seems like they've grown up a little on this one.
    Campbell22
    like, if you guys base your opinion on their previous releases, and didn't even listen this album (because their sound has changed a lot) y'all definitely *****s
    Travman93
    I created my account here just so I can post this comment. You may not love the band or their genre, but post something constructive. You're basing much of your opinions over a pretty bad attempt at a meme that was somewhat popular on the internet years ago. They may not be the most talented musicians, but they're doing something they enjoy and they're popular because of it. Meanwhile, you're just another keyboard warrior drowning in a sea of anonymity. Sure, there are bands that I don't particularly enjoy, but will I go on endlessly bashing them because they don't precisely fit into a genre I enjoy, but I would never go about bashing them on the internet, or anywhere else.
    The Spoon
    I really must admit that it sounds like they actually tried with this release. However, It's not anything I haven't heard before, but they've grown up a little since Stick Stickly. I got bored after a few songs, though. It was okay for like half an hour.
    rodrattlehead
    First of all I love attack attack! but drop g, seriously hahaha but if it works for them, ok. I like the album,there are some cool riffs in there... for the people who think that metalcore sounds the same and generic, let me say that it is a GENRE, so there's gonna be a lot of bands sounding the same, listen to thrash, black or death metal there's a lot of bands sounding the same, so if you don't like this genre or this band, don't say that this is a shit or that this is pretty generic, please be honest
    CoolMcAwesome
    Pagan_Poetry wrote: Crouching down low as you play does not warrant a trend or a label.
    it does if other start doing it. Unfortunately, others did start doing this, thus making a trend. A trend that needs to end.
    Pagan_Poetry wrote: Lazy, talentless hacks need to stop being promoted over more worthy bands/artists.
    agreed. these guys suck. death to all fake metal!
    a drummer
    whywefight wrote: seriously? drop g? anyway, i lost all interest after "is a much more straight forward metalcore album than the band's previous releases."
    Drop G (G#) is badass, this terrible band just doesn't know how to use it.
    vppark2
    DangerKitty001 wrote: Attack Attack! just need to go away. They are not, have not, and will not be any good.
    lemme guess, your just another one of those Attack Attack! haters who will judge everything by them without even listening to a song by them. i bet u havent even listened to a song from this album yet....so please if u havent, dnt go on here and ****in shit on these guys. it doesnt make u look cool just bcuz you got so many +1's for it. Thank you, and goodbye.
    Megalomaniac46
    I just listened to one song - You can barely tell what the guitars are playing because there's so much distortion. I assume it's just 0-8-5...
    jaketheripper66
    They more or less copied Fleshgod Apocalypse's album Agony as far as the song names are concerned.
    m4ss3 m/
    Ugh, first they raped metalcore by mixing some stupid emo and techno stuff in it and now they do the same for djent.
    Jimmyboba
    Much prefer Attack! Attack! (UK) Definitely the better band.
    whywefight
    seriously? drop g? anyway, i lost all interest after "is a much more straight forward metalcore album than the band's previous releases."
    AwokenDEMON
    Attack Attack definitely needs to go away. And so do a lot of artists from Rise Records! I don't mind a little techno here and there, but you have got to have some passion and creativity in your base instruments. Guitars should never be overshadowed by synth, in my opinion, because music and technology are definitely not the same thing. Memphis May Fire is a good band from Rise though, I like them a lot.
    Pat_s1t
    m4ss3 m/ wrote: Ugh, first they raped metalcore by mixing some stupid emo and techno stuff in it and now they do the same for djent.
    This. It's literally the worst "djent" type album I've ever heard, the riffs were completely uninteresting and the choruses were more or less the same Attack Attack garbage. Fuck this band so hard.
    tquad17
    Thats why you are wrong. What if you tune in G and play with seven string guitars? You must play djent or something super fast? Simplicity some times can be good.
    How can one be wrong about their opinion on musicianship? I didn't mention fast playing or 'dejent' w/e that is, i agree that simplicity can be good some of my favorite bands are rather simplistic, BUT they use the simplicity as a foundation for other talents, unlike these guys. This is just cliche' and lackluster at best.
    HH_Emo_666
    I dont understand how any body could listen to this garbage. Every ****ing song from this shitty genre is the same. Play as fast as we can for the verses, strum out chords for the chorus, open palm mute open notes for a breakdown, have a shitty "synth" break, and do it all over again. There is no way, whatsoever that they could ever be known as creative or original
    SIEGE312
    I kinda think most people trashing on here haven't listened to the album. Personally I think it doesn't sound anything like their previous efforts. (Note: This is a good thing) And while the lyrics can come across as somewhat immature and even cheesy, they have matured in a songwriting sense, no longer using the electronic elements and Auto-Tune as a crutch. I'd say if they make the same progress on their next album as they have from their last they may be able to shake their "crab-core" reputation and legitimatize themselves outside of the Warped Tour circuit.
    Notstarboard11
    This album was such a freaking let down. Even as a metalcore/deathcore fan, I still think their self-titled album was infinitely better. I'm sorry, but just because they're playing in drop G doesn't make this a good or heavy album. The clean vocals suck. The guitar parts are unimaginative to the point where all the songs begin to sound exactly the same. Everyone commenting here keeps hating on their "gimmicky" elements, and here's what I have to say to that: THEY SHOULD KEEP THEM, BECAUSE I WANT THEM TO STAY THE HELL OUT OF METALCORE.
    vppark2
    The Spoon wrote: I really must admit that it sounds like they actually tried with this release. However, It's not anything I haven't heard before, but they've grown up a little since Stick Stickly. I got bored after a few songs, though. It was okay for like half an hour.
    yea the first listen for me was nice, but iv been trying to listen to the album a few more times, but im not getting the same reaction as i did the first time. the only songs rly worth listening to in my opinion r "the wretched" and "the motivation." those r my 2 favorites. especially "the wretched." These guys just need a bit more wrk on some stuff here, especially Caleb. I mean they really did well improving in everything, but they still need more wrk and i have faith in them in their future releases.
    stlavallee
    I agree with this review but this wasn't the first cd Caleb produced, it was My Ticket Home's "The Opportunity to Be" and then their follow up "To Create a Cure"