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Album Review: Attila - 'Chaos'

7 November 2016 | 10:34 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Attila's best work to date!

Look, I genuinely like Attila. I have a baller arse fucking time listening to them. They’re fun, they're energetic and they actually write some pretty decent heavy music. If you don’t like them or you think that vocalist Chris Fronz is the scum of this earth for… whatever the hell he did to you or your family, then that’s cool. I’m super happy for you and your own thought out opinion. Now, you can save yourself some time by just skipping this whole review and going on to comment about how the above an “85” score is wrong, that I’m wrong, that Attila is wrong, that Brexit was wrong and that the choice to renew Stranger Things for a second season was also fucking wrong. But now all of that wrongness is out of the way, onwards to the subject of this review; Attila's new album, 'Chaos'.

The opening track of ‘Chaos’, titled ‘Ignite’, is actually pretty shit. Well, that was kinda anti-climatic, wasn't it? See, it’s a pretty messy track that feels all over the place with its clunky riffs and grooves that don’t really gel all too well with the vocals. Thankfully, the rest of ‘Chaos’ is very, very far removed from this first song.

For instance, ‘Bulletproof’ is really the song that should have been the introduction to this record. It’s got a really powerful riff and groove to kick it all off, and it contains a truly slick lead melody and it sets the scene for what’s to come on ‘Chaos’ really well. The slower pace, the more chorus focused song structures and a far “bigger” sound that feels full and complete – it’s all right here on ‘Bulletproof’. Plus, Fronz pulls off some clean vocal chops albeit very briefly in the chorus and they're fucking solid!

The album's "infamous" lead single, ‘Public Apology’, is definitely on the heavier side of things with that aforementioned slower speed that keeps it in tune with the band’s hardcore and nu-metal influences and once again, the band really pull it off. It’s easier to appreciate these deeper and groovier riffs when everything is taken back a notch and you have room to breathe. Though as an Australian myself, the use of 'cunt' and 'shit' in the lyrics aren't shocking or jimmy rustling. I mean, come on! Us Aussies tend to use those two words on the daily and often use both in conjunction to describe people we dislike. So it’s not shocking at all, but I suppose it would be for the many shall we say, sensitive Americans listeners. Either way, the shock factor and the purpose here is kinda lacking. Yet in saying that, that doesn’t detract in any way from the song’s overall appeal or quality.

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Tracks like ‘Rise Up’ and ‘Legend’ are without a doubt the "rockier" songs on offer. They’re far more palatable for any normie friends you may have, especially the latter with its catchy chorus where Fronz warms up his vocal chords once more to pull off some surprisingly delightful clean vocals. These songs are less in your face and more overwhelming in their sonics and melodic scope. Seriously, if the band wanted to reach the mainstream radio stations then these songs would be the ones to get them there. You know they're kind of like the weed of this album; you may listen to these more digestible songs first before you get a desire to dive deeper down the rabbit hole of much more mind-bending substances such as acid, LSD, and Molly. That's a bad analogy for saying that they're gateway songs for the heavier Attila tracks. Or...something, I don't really know.

Anyway, ‘Queen’ and especially ‘Moshpit’ have some exceedingly strong hip-hop influences with their use of drum machines and programmed beats that when mixed with the signature Attila riffage and down-tune chugging, makes for some damn cool moments. The latter feels like a remix of sorts and no wonder – the track features producer Ookay whose additional beats and programming make ‘Moshpit’ one hell of a stand out song. It’s trappy, dirty and absolutely fucking filthy in the best way possible.

But easily my own favourite song here has got to be ‘Let’s Get Abducted’. It’s kind of like the amalgamation of everything to be found in ‘Chaos’. It not only contains a monolithic chorus that swallows you whole but it’s also heavy and has plenty of solid riffage in all the right places with the classic Attila “super-duper-trooper-booper-cooper" fast-rap thrown in for good measure. But it's the X-Files inspired synth lead that is just utterly gorgeous and it adds a whole other layer to the song, making it a fully certified, one-hundred percent onion ogre.

However, my one gripe with this album is that it sort of drops off towards the end with ‘Hail Rock and Roll’ and ‘King’ close the album in the least memorable way possible. It isn’t so much that these are both bad songs, just that they feel somewhat rehashed and reused from the rest of the album. Whereas a lot of the songs on here show the band venturing down new avenues (whether it’s the sludgier pacing, the bigger chorus driven structures or new age hip-hop influences), these last two songs are simply just Attila in their standard format and after a damn solid album of these, dare I say it, eclectic tracks, it’s hard not to want for more variety and musical expansion.

While this new album starts and ends somewhat questionably, the rest of ‘Chaos’ is Attila’s best work to date by far. There’s a broad spread of influences here, from the almost hardcore passing songs as well as the huge rock anthems and the obliterating heavy hitters and it all makes for a really engaging and exciting listen that pulls you right in. Well, that is unless you’re predisposed to hating this band, in which case this will probably be literal ear poison for you. Your loss, I suppose.

01. Ignite

02. Bulletproof

03. Public Apology

04. Obsession

05. Moshpit (Feat. Ookay)

06. Rise Up

07. Let's Get Abducted

08. Legend

09. Queen

10. All Hail Rock And Roll

11. King

'Chaos' is out now. Also, you might be thinking, “Hey Matty, this review wasn’t as ridiculous or as absurd as some of your other work.” And you’re right. It’s far tamer and even somewhat respectable. The reason for that is that after speaking to Fronz himself in a recent interview, I realised that Attila is far from the joke band most people make them out to be. They’re a group of talented and lovely musicians who are passionate about their work and I can’t shake the warmth and kindness that Fronz gave off in that interview and as such, it’s bled into this review. You are now probably thinking, “Matty, you are even aware that most of the other bands you’ve shat on in these reviews or written abstract reviews about are not jokes bands either?” Yes, I am well aware of that. And to that, I say fuck you! I can choose when to be a damn weirdo whenever I want to be.