Prepare for Attack!
There’s a common misconception among novice musicians forming their first band that you need to sound a certain way in order to earn your place within the genre. If you want to be the next indie rock heartthrobs, you had better round up some organs and banjos. If you want to be death metal dreadnaughts, start tuning those guitars way down low. There are some new acts that try to essentially reverse engineer their sound, creating a sound that emerges organically from the group’s synergy, and then trying to find where it fits into the larger musical continuum. Finding themselves at this impasse, The Attack, whose aptly-titled Too Punk for the Hardcore Show, Too Hardcore for the Punk Show, leaves the matter of their exact genre up to us to decide.
As it’s title suggests, the Attack offers us up a unique mix of it’s two titular sounds, creating a sonic rara avis that’s akin to seeing a fish with wings or a swimming eagle. Lyrically The Attack seems to be strongly in the punk rock camp, but when they join the patented driving sonic attack of early hardcore to the verses, they push themselves just outside of each camp, not wholly a part of each side. Their disregard for working within the conventions of a single genre is their greatest asset, since they’re free to experiment with whatever sound they want to pursue. What starts out like a typical hardcore grind changes, after a low, bassy growl, into a more traditional punk rock riff. It’s no more apparent than on the very first track, “Wasted,” which comes on hard and heavy with a roaring drum beat, then lets the bass drive the rest of the song home.
By not trying to cater solely to one scene or the other, The Attack manages to appeal to both simultaneously. For devotees on either side, Too Punk for the Hardcore Show, Too Hardcore for the Punk Show rings out like a breath of fresh air, a herald of a possible new direction for either sound. At the very least, the Attack make us realize that there’s more in common than divergent between traditional punk rock and hardcore.