Attack Attack! - Someday Came Suddenly
Record Label: Rise Records
Release Date: November 11, 2008
I'm not quite sure what's going on with the latest "synth-core" trend, but it looks like, with their latest signings, Rise Records is banking on it becoming the next big thing. To me, it doesn't seem like much more than a novelty that will, hopefully, die out soon enough, but if it does hold on to some staying power, the blame could rest pretty squarely on the shoulders of Attack Attack! While label-mates Breathe Carolina sound rather awkward, with thin screams over music that's not heavy at all, and unoriginal, as they do nothing interesting with their electronics, Attack Attack! are simply far better on all counts. Sure that's comparable to being the proverbial "hottest waitress at Denny's," but I have to hand it to Attack Attack! for at least releasing what, for me, amounted to a pleasant surprise. Is this something I'll ever listen to again? No, it probably isn't. It is, however, not nearly as bad as I was expecting it to be.
After the throwaway hip-hop intro, “Hot Grills and High Tops,” you get the first taste of what sets these guys apart. “Stick Stickly” opens with a vicious scream and breakdown that seem to state, “We’re not as lame as the other synth bands with screaming.” The guitars are heavy and the screaming vocals are actually quite good. However, there is an over-reliance on breakdowns on the heavy parts, and the vocal hook, replete with the requisite vocoder effects, sounds like it was pulled straight out of Forever the Sickest Kids’ album. I guess that’s supposed to be part of the appeal.
Sadly, the above effectively describes almost every song on the album, and in many cases, the execution leaves something to be desired. “Bro, Ashley’s Here” gives us lyrical platitudes like “Get up! Get up! He’s calling your name. You don’t have to be something you’re not.” (Gee, thanks guys!) The insane screaming and Autotuned vocals thrown on top of swirling electronics found on “Shred, White and Blue” sound haphazardly put together. The staccato synths in “Party Foul” probably sounded good on paper, but on the record, the idea doesn’t play out quite so well when coupled with heavy riffing. Then, of course, there’s the obligatory cheesy song with an even cheesier title (“What Happens If I Can’t Check My Myspace When We Get There?”).
It’s not all completely bad, though. “The People’s Elbow” is probably the best execution of this “genre” that I’ve heard, as the synths and clean vocal melodies aren’t so “bubblegum” and add a haunting ambience that compliments the heavier parts of the song. The electronic elements in “Kickin’ Wing, Animal Doctor” are kept subtly in the background, and it works pretty well. If anything, the track showcases that the band could at least be a decent, but certainly generic, metalcore band. Not that the world needs any more of those, but for the sake of pride, I’d rather be in a generic metalcore band than a band like this. Wouldn’t you?
As the record nears its close, it gets a little tiring, as you’ve pretty much heard all the band have to offer (save for the string effects that pop up for the first time on “Catfish Soup"). Attack Attack! certainly have the ability to be both heavy and catchy, but the sharp contrast between the two polar opposite styles that the band employs is simply off-putting at times. There are definitely bands out there that effectively inject melodies and ambient electronic effects into their otherwise heavy songs and Attack Attack! show that they can do the same (as on “Kickin’ Wing, Animal Doctor”). Unfortunately, most of Someday Came Suddenly sounds uninspired, with most of the songs following the same formula, seemingly in an attempt to cash in on the latest fad.
I gave this cd a quick listen at a hot topic and decided i might buy cause it sounded pretty unique, i like hardcore but i basically only listen to the bands that employ the use of catchy hooks and melodies. Staight hardcore with no singing is just bland and off putting to me. I at first after a listen thought that they kinda sucked but now after a lot more listening i really enjoy them, espectially "the peoples elbow" and "kickin' wing". Good Album on the whole, i can even get into the little electronic intermission
i have to say i really respect your review. i understand while i love this record, others hate this and will call it a trendy band with a horrible record. though i don't agree with the score you gave the record and some of your criticisms, you seemed to be fairly un-biased which i really appreciate as most others wouldn't do the same.
I agree with both of you. I highly DISAGREE with the reviewer on the intro track. I thought it was hilarious and totally gets you prepared for the CD. When "Stick Stickly" busts out of the speakers it's just an assault of awesomeness.
I also think the reviewer missed a huge part of this CD which is lyrics. Being a Christian, the fact that these guys are so openly religious is awesome to me, and makes this CD mean so much more. I don't think I've purchased this excellent of a CD in 2+ years.