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Attack in Black - Years (By One Thousand Fingertips) (Cover Artwork)

Attack in Black

Attack in Black: Years (By One Thousand Fingertips)Years (By One Thousand Fingertips) (2009)
Dine Alone Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


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

Attack in Black's 2007 effort, Marriage, a critically lauded blend of folk-infused punk with classic rock sensibility, was hardly a sign of things to come for the once hardcore punk band from Welland, Ontario, at least sonically. Although Marriage was diverse, melodic and driven, its success was bui.
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Attack in Black's 2007 effort, Marriage, a critically lauded blend of folk-infused punk with classic rock sensibility, was hardly a sign of things to come for the once hardcore punk band from Welland, Ontario, at least sonically. Although Marriage was diverse, melodic and driven, its success was built on raw sincerity and a passive-aggressive musical approach, which has carried over into the band's reinvention.

Years (By One Thousand Fingertips) is a blatant departure from the band's previous work. All but abandoning their punk roots, Attack in Black have relayed the pressures of a sophomore album by trading in their "na na na"s, driving beats and gruff melodic temperament for a blend of lo-fi psychedelia and `60s folk-pop. Years was self-recorded in their new basement sudio, using an 8-track, branding their newly found DIY ethic. The album was complete before Dine Alone Records (the band's label) was even aware that they were making one.

The title track, which is the album's opener, is a richly harmonized dip into the earthy classical folk realm, with elements of `60s pop melodies. Classic rock sensibility and melodic hooks are recurrent throughout the album, exemplified by the terrific "Greater Niagara Circle Route," which draws immediate comparisons to fellow Canadian classic rock re-innovators, the Constantines.

Like "Niagara," the subtle sense of urgency, coupled with the layered, textured framework with powerfully heartfelt vocals, is the band's strongest asset for the album's most accomplished songs. The angular and anthemic "Liberties" is the album's most aggressive song, but doesn't come across as contrived or forced; it's a challenging blend of post-punk and traditional rock. The album's closer, "The Surface I Would Travel," has similar dreary vocal meandering of Matthew Good crossed with the ambient soundscape of Radiohead. "(Blood) in the Tracks" is a beautifully crafted spacey indie rock gem. As the song progresses, layer upon layer are added to create a feel of tension offset by the soothing vocals of Daniel Romano, and the subtle driving cohesiveness of the rhythm section.

Attack in Black's multi-faceted songwriting capabilities are in full force. A 16-track record with very few weak moments erased by the overall impact of the album. They have found a unique and effective way to balance the line between innovation and traditionalism, without overcompensating for either. Well done.

 

 
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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.
DarrenMcLeod (March 13, 2009)

I was skeptical and let down at first, but the more I listen to it, the more I really enjoy this album.

Give it a few listens... it's damn good.

treos (March 13, 2009)

way different, good for them, prefer it to marriage. few slow tracks but some really strong ones in the mix for sure.

King_Rodney (March 12, 2009)

Well, I thought it was rather brilliant.

mikeinflames (March 12, 2009)

ironic indie hipsters in toronto love this album.

Piata (March 11, 2009)

forgot the score.

Piata (March 11, 2009)

As someone that liked both Marriage and Curve of the Earth, I gotta say this album is pretty disappointing.

They keep getting more monotone, bland and uninteresting. Curve of the Earth was a neat experiment but it didn't need to be repeated and it definitely didn't need to be followed up by another album in the same vein.

Biggest let down of the year for me.

Trauma16 (March 11, 2009)

Album is a snooze fest.

blanktapesemptybottles (March 11, 2009)

why can't this be distributed to the US? WHY?!

R3vengeTherapy (March 11, 2009)

Maaaan.

I was so unbelievably let down when I heard this record. Marriage is one of the best albums I've ever heard, no joke. Fucking incredible. And this? Well...it's like a different band.

I get it, and I completely understand how this record is going to get praised for years to come, but this is hard for me to listen to. I'm not into it, but I have a real appreciation for what they're doing. How often do bands take this far of a step in a different direction? Not often. But it's obviously for all the right reasons.

Just give me another album like Marriage, and I'll leave you alone to do your lo-fi 60's thing, I promise.

Wesley_Snipes (March 10, 2009)

___,
///=
\_,
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.`""` h i t s a n d w i c h

preston (March 10, 2009)

I don't wanna wear a puffy shirt!

inagreendase (March 10, 2009)

A lot of this reminds me of Fleetwood Mac, yet...I like it? What's happening to me!?

Oddly enough, I wrote something about the band's Brooklyn show for a journalism class and mentioned that their one guitarist looked like he walked out of a Fleetwood Mac promo shoot. That ruffled dress shirt tucked into slacks and black dress shoes sure looks bizarre even in Brooklyn.

nocigar (March 10, 2009)

4 and a half stars isn't a "big fucking stretch". It may be a stretch, but this album is great in its own way.

SloaneDaley (March 10, 2009)

From what I've heard of this album it seems closer to a more polished Curve of The Earth which isn't a bad thing necessarily, I just sort of hoped that was more of a onetime thing and they'd continue with the nice balance they had going on Marriage.

Dsquared (March 10, 2009)

4 and a half stars seems like a big fucking stretch.

ddb43 (March 10, 2009)

Not sure what to make of it yet, but I'm still giving it a few more spins. It's hard to fit it in w/ Propangandhi right now.

ven89 (March 10, 2009)

Wow, this is a hell of departure. Reminds me of music my parents listen to. Gonna have to give it some time.

damnitsderek (March 10, 2009)

Stoked to get this.

andrewg (March 10, 2009)

as much as i didn't want to like this on first listen, it is VERY good.

preston (March 10, 2009)

A lot of this reminds me of Fleetwood Mac, yet...I like it? What's happening to me!?

Dante3000 (March 10, 2009)

More like "Attack in Crap"!
I don't know if I believe that comment.
-Dante

inagreendase (March 10, 2009)

Either gonna take me a while to warm up to, or it's just too far outside the scope of my tastes. Hoping for the former.

A couple songs have a good immediacy, though (the first, f.e.).

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