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Attack! Attack!

Attack! Attack! UK

Review by Gary Hill

It’s a dangerous game Attack! Attack! UK plays. When you create a sound that’s much like a big chunk of the music being played on the radio you walk a fine line. Sure, you are likely to bring in fans of those bands. You are also likely to get airplay. The problem is, it’s a definite high wire act to keep from falling into the territory of pure generica and getting lost in the midst of all the other groups you sound like. For the most part these guys keep themselves above the far by sheer power and talent. There are few points where the generic nature outweighs the entertainment value of the music. My advice to these guys for the next release? Focus more on what makes you different from the rest of the groups in your chosen pop rock field. This is a great start – let’s see what you can follow it up with.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Honesty
This has a definite modern alternative rock feel to it. After a short time we get a more metal approach. Still keyboards and other sounds temper this, keeping it from moving full into the heavy metal zone. It’s a cool tune. The thing is, it would be so easy to dismiss this as generic modern pop rock. Certainly that aspect lives here. But this is just plain great music. That elevates beyond the output of so many bands who share this musical territory. We get a cool nearly metallic, grunge sort of jam later in the track.
You and Me
In many ways this song is cut from the same cloth as the opener. It’s less crunchy than that track, though. It’s also more accessible and generic. Yet it still works quite well.
This Is A Test
I like this a lot. It’s more energized and raw. It’s very much old school punk rock meets modern pop rock. This isn’t quite emo, though. I’d say its feet are more firmly planted in the real punk rock of yesteryear than the more modern (and pale copy) practiced by emo bands. I hear a lot of the old-school band The A’s (I know they were more power pop than punk) on this, but there’s also a killer metallic jam mid-track. I like the little false ending quite a bit.
Too Bad Son
Now this track really does cross the line too far into “generic land.” They sound like any number of nameless faceless modern bands here. It’s an alright tune, but it could have been done by a dozen groups and sounded exactly like this.

From Now On
They’ve fallen off the side of the slope and it’s not going to be any easy thing to get back. Thos track makes some headway climbing back up, though. The opening makes you think we’re about to launch into any number of generic “whining boy” pop rock tunes. They manage to bring some originality to the table here, though, with the more stripped down arrangement and some genuine emotion. This isn’t earth shattering, but it’s catchy and a step back in the right direction.
Say It To Me
As this starts you might think they are covering The Beatles’ “Helter Skelter.” Instead they launch out into another hunk of the music they seem so good at creating. This is a much more effective example and rocks out quite well. I like it a lot and it brings us fully back into the “winning” end of the spectrum.
Lights Out
With its stripped down intro this one comes close to sliding us back down the slope to mediocrity. The “in and out” arrangement later and the general energy of the track save us from that fate, though. This isn’t overly original, but it still manages to succeed. There’s also a quirky little segment later that has an almost progressive rock feel to it at times.
Home Again
Again there are no molds broken here. The bass driven intro, though and general raw texture to this make it work much better than the sounds from many of the group’s contemporaries. This is actually one of the highlights of the disc.

Lost For Words
This one is another that’s more effective than the rest. It’s got a more raw feeling to it and more closely resembles grunge than the modern pop rock that the rest of the album seems to live near. They throw a killer harder edged segment in the midst of this that’s quite nearly metal.
Time Is Up
Another with a frantic pace, this is a killer rocker and another that stands above the rest. It’s also a great way to end things on a high note.
 
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