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Attack in Black - Widows (Cover Artwork)

Attack in Black

Attack in Black: WidowsWidows (2006)
Dine Alone Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: SloaneDaleySloaneDaley
(others by this writer | submit your own)

While Toronto has a fine hardcore punk pedigree with notable releases from Cancer Bats and Fucked Up this year, the surrounding area has produced a couple of very fine bands of the more melodic variety (met with comparably less fanfare mind you), Kover being the first and Welland, Ontario's Attack i.


While Toronto has a fine hardcore punk pedigree with notable releases from Cancer Bats and Fucked Up this year, the surrounding area has produced a couple of very fine bands of the more melodic variety (met with comparably less fanfare mind you), Kover being the first and Welland, Ontario's Attack in Black being the second.

With their second EP this year, Widows, Attack in Black firmly explores a musical template I like to call "beard punk." The band states musical artists from Neil Young to Refused and literary sources as their influences, however there is something more glaringly obvious to their music. Though they are from Welland, their sound could have been birthed by stewing the band in a gourd full of Pabst in Gainsville. Seeing the band live I noted vocalist/guitarist Daniel Romano shared a strong vocal similarity with Tom Gabel. On record that similarity still exists, however when he goes for his cleaner and softer approach he displays much more of an uncertain tenderness than Gabel does. This self-consciousness is revealed in a line on the first song where he sings "from the knowing that I'll never sing in tune / like the rest of you." In the vocal department there is also some good understated backups provided that have a very slight British invasion quality to them at times.

Musically the band has been compared to both Hot Water Music and Dag Nasty, but I take issue with either of those comparisons. There are some slight post-hardcore leanings but the songs tend to lack the dueling guitar/vocals of the former or the hardcore speed of the later. If anything the band works from a straight-ahead rock foundation more akin to the Draft, Fifth Hour Hero or Disco / Eternal Cowboy-era AM!, and mixes the introspective lyrical approach of Dag Nasty. Lyrically the band shines, walking in a rare territory. The words are straightforward enough but never fall into blunt cheesiness, and still have poetic qualities without delving in overblown obliqueness.

The four-song EP is effectively structured opening up with two slower numbers, then letting loose with the hard-rocking "Cut and Run" and closing with the dark "1950." The opening song "Broken Things" is where the majority of the Against Me! comparisons stem from. The very drum-dependent buildup, the sound of the guitars, the "ohh-ohhhh" near the end, and the closing trumpet all seem to be smacks of AM!. That isn't to say the song is without its own character. Nothing is directly pilfered from the Floridian ghetto uprisers and the vocal harmonies on the refrain are very much the band's own. "1950" is perhaps were the band is at its most unique. Starting out as a fairly driving and catchy punk tune, by the end the band breaks into some, dare I say hypnotic ground, with lightly plucked guitar, faintly reverberated drums, atmospheric organ and soaring layered vocals.

To top off the album there is some rather interesting artwork to complete the package. While only four songs, there is still a lot to enjoy and zero filler. It does in effect what a good EP should do: stand alone as a great piece of music and whet the appetite for a full-length (which is coming out early next year, Bob). The band already has a decent following growing, and with this release and a solid live show it should continue to grow. What with opening slots for Alexisonfire's four large drawing Toronto dates later this year, if they follow through with as strong a full-length and do some consistent touring I predict great things in the band's future. Also, guitarist Spencer has a righteous beard, 'nuff said.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Attack in Black - MarriageThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Refused - The Shape of Punk to ComeComeback Kid - Wake The DeadConverge - No HeroesAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseDillinger Four - C I V I L W A RNorma Jean - RedeemerBotch - Unifying Themes Redux [reissue]The Draft - In a Million Pieces

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
SloaneDaley (November 13, 2006)

I think this EP is alright, but I dont see how it can be given more stars than, say, Todays Empires. I enjoy their first EP a lot more, but thats probably because I am more into punk/hardcore and this album just sounds like melodic rock to me.

see but you can't really compare the two, I based the score on the song writing itself, how it works as EP, and a little bit on bands that work a similar style of music. Besides scores don't mean all that much.

Anonymous (November 13, 2006)

I think this EP is alright, but I dont see how it can be given more stars than, say, Todays Empires. I enjoy their first EP a lot more, but thats probably because I am more into punk/hardcore and this album just sounds like melodic rock to me.

brentmills (November 12, 2006)

comment is for record score!

Anonymous (November 11, 2006)

Ive been following these guys for a few years and have watched their sound change as the band grew. Tthey have consistently put on great performances every single time i've seen them, and everytime i see them they remain one of my alltime favorite bands.

As for the EP, iv been listening to this thing nonstop ever since I got it, my favorite being The Love Between You and I.

great review by the way

Anonymous (November 11, 2006)

this band used to be so much better. their first EP is great. i really think this new one is horrible. it reminds me of Angels And Airwaves. also, the dudes in this band seem to be jerks. that is all

SloaneDaley (November 11, 2006)

I'm bad with that sort of thing I'd say maybe 50 at the height. About the Toronto punk scene, it is a large multi-burrough city but most people that come to shows are from Old City's downtown core it appears and the rest are from the suburbs or other close cities like London, Hamilton & Buffalo even. The majority of the city is under represented at a small show. Therefore during the middle of the week you are only gonna get locals usually. Atleast that is my theory coupled with other local busy people, like I tried to get people to come out with me but they were either working or had plans.

Anonymous (November 11, 2006)

how many people do you think showed up?

TheRhetoric (November 11, 2006)

The turnout out was pathetic on Wednesday, I really wonder if there is a Toronto punk scene at all sometimes....

Anonymous (November 11, 2006)

How was the turn out for the show on Wednesday with NMDS?

SloaneDaley (November 10, 2006)

I wrote a review for that show as well, one of the best lineups of the year, but I didn't catch teh first bands name.

danielsan (November 10, 2006)

i also saw this band on wednesday with NMDS and Fifth Hour Hero, and was very impressed. As soon as he started singing, I thought Tom Gabel, but as they progressed he definitely showed, as did the rest of the band, they have their own style and aren't out to rip anyone off. Looking forward to the full-length

SloaneDaley (November 10, 2006)

He it was nice reading this review and seeing a music fan wrote this review , which is appreciated. My name is Joel and I run Dine Alone Records and Bedlam Music Mgt and I know I speak on behalf of our family, thanks.

As for purchasing the CD, its avail on ITUNES around the world and will be up on mymerchtable.com soon. Ohhhhhhhhhhh, we are putting this out as a 7inch as well which we are stoked on.

So thanks and enjoy and have a rad day.


twas my pleasure, I only hope someone who wouldn't normally had heard the band checks them out now. Gahhh I wish the 7-inch had been out when I went to buy this, oh well.

Anonymous (November 10, 2006)

i saw this band at the edge. and easily best band there, but still i didnt think they were that great. but meh everyone's opinion is different

dropkickmurphy01 (November 10, 2006)

amazing band. great ep. great live.

SloaneDaley (November 10, 2006)

thats what the paragraph explains it works within the Gainsville sound, Gainsville = beards.

Anonymous (November 10, 2006)

" With their second EP this year, Widows, Attack in Black firmly explores a musical template I like to call “beard punk.” "

what the hell does that mean?

davepwnt (November 10, 2006)

I saw these guys a while back while on tour with Alexisonfire. They reminded me of a dirtier Moneen, but a cleaner Choke. I have yet to hear the album entirely, but I do liek the band. So I'll check it out. Good review.

TheRhetoric (November 10, 2006)

I saw these dudes on Wednesday, they are fucking awesome. the EP is good but doesn't capture how good they are live. I am definitely gonna catch these guys again soon.

Anonymous (November 10, 2006)

He it was nice reading this review and seeing a music fan wrote this review , which is appreciated. My name is Joel and I run Dine Alone Records and Bedlam Music Mgt and I know I speak on behalf of our family, thanks.

As for purchasing the CD, its avail on ITUNES around the world and will be up on mymerchtable.com soon. Ohhhhhhhhhhh, we are putting this out as a 7inch as well which we are stoked on.

So thanks and enjoy and have a rad day.

Anonymous (November 10, 2006)

other awesome ontario hardcore you should check out:
gunnar hansen
career suicide
about to snap
the kill decibel
cursed

SloaneDaley (November 10, 2006)

thanks for pointing me in the direction of those songs, so far the first one is more hardcore which I can see some Dag Nasty-ism in.

Trauma16 (November 10, 2006)

Great live show, awesome tunes.
I believe Skate Ahead Records website has 2 of the songs off the older EP available to download.
I shall definitly pick this album up next week when i see them with Moneen.

Anonymous (November 10, 2006)

I saw these guys with Alexisonfire, ETID and Cancer Bats earlier in September. They were awesome. Too bad I can't find a copy of this anywhere, I should've bought a copy at their merch stand when I had the chance. All I have is an mp3 of 1950 that I got from a Dine Alone sampler.

notatfault (November 10, 2006)

Great band, and an even better live band. I back these guys 100%

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