Do you like long song titles that are loosely related to the subject matter, along with gruff vocal singalong punk? If so, !Attention! is right at home. I haven’t seen the band but it’s easy to picture them playing a Durty Nelly’s set at The Fest as drunkos spill half their PBR cans on the floor after hitting them on that stupid broken ceiling fan. [I haven’t been there in 2 years, is that place still open?]
And since that’s the most niche intro ever, let’s just start over for those who kept reading even if you didn’t get the reference.
!Attention! play familiar chord-heavy punk that’s mid-tempo to fast, building and falling in action and with the full band kicking in vocal cues come chorus-time. It’s thoughtful and reflective music, pulling from inner struggles instead of political sloganeering.
“Broseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Couch,” “The Unwitting Bastard Sons of Stompin Tom Connors,” and “The Salt in My Bones” are a few of the standouts on the record, where they use up and down emotional nuances within the relatively one-note vocals that ride out the melodic flow. It’s driving punk that has enough variation to keep it from all sounding alike. “In Broseph,” The lead at the one-minute mark, right before it feels like it’s going to hit a verse-chorus-verse formula, is a nice mix-up that reshapes the song halfway through. After a melodic start, the final act finishes out with the mid-tempo shout that packs a nice punch. Then, in “The Salt in My Bones,” there’s a more driving emphasis contrasted with some powerful chord-punk that gets the song down to business as it shifts seamlessly between two tempos without ever feeling forced or unfocused. The ability to move back and forth makes the refrains jump out and gives added pull to the coarse-sung choruses. They show some real promise.
At other times it’s less consistent. “Writing Letters” loses that momentum a bit. When the bridge isn’t as strong the vocals get monotonous, making the chorus and verses bleed together. “Lesser-Known Stories,” which is more a slow or mid-tempo jam, suffers from that vocal sameness.
Other influences creeps in with the Hot Water Music-tinged dramatic wall of guitar in “Where Tall Trees Grow in Shallow Water” or the barebones O Pioneers!!! arrangement and shouted vocals of “Partners in What If.”
As a whole, I dig this record though it’s a little inconsistent from start to finish. Of course, few 15-song records are perfect, but it ends up sounds a little too similar from track to track. Glenn Barrington likely isn’t trying to win any Grammys for his vocals, but a little more inflection here and there combined with complementary musical movements could make it climb a few pegs on the arbitrary rating below.
7.1 / 10
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