Gregory Attonito - Natural Disaster [10-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Gregory Attonito

Natural Disaster [10-inch] (2011)


2011 has been surprisingly abundant for Bouncing Souls fans. The year has so far seen a split with Hot Water Music, the live album Complete Control Recording Sessions, and the humorous acoustic set/Record Store Day exclusive, Live at Generation Records, from the punk pioneers. Now in July, fans finally get some brand new material in the form of the Natural Disaster EP, the first solo outing from frontman Greg Attonito. While the cover might bill him as "Gregory," to Souls fans he'll always be Greg, which is both a blessing and a curse for the EP. It lends Attonito's new songs instant recognition, but they may disappoint long-time fans. Natural Disaster is not tru punx.

Instead, Attonito aims for acoustic love songs, with some assistance from friends like Souls guitarist Pete Steinkopf and especially from wife Shanti Wintergate. The music is primarily acoustic, with the occasional ambient electronic flourish and horn arrangement, like on opener "How Many Songs". At its best ("Volcano", "Cincinnati Dream"), the EP functions as a solid chill-out record for the summer. Other tunes, like "Eyes" and "Sexiest Girl", are so straightforward in their loving intent that they fumble with the line between adorable and ridiculous. While I'm sure Wintergate was flattered when Attonito wrote "Sexiest Girl" for her, as a fan I feel uncomfortable hearing such a personal song that simply does not need to be released on a wide scale.

The EP is decent overall, and it's certainly seasonally appropriate, but I'm not sure what kind of life it will have beyond the hardest of hardcore fans. You kind of need to be a superfan to really care about the songs' context. Still, though, these whispers and acoustic strums add up to some pleasing tuneage.