Pizza, Sex And Trolls. If you’re reading this you may be asking “What the bloody hell kind of opening statement is that?” Those 3 words grouped together certainly don’t make sense as a statement nor as a potential song title for any normal band. But Attila aren’t a normal band unless the world ‘normal’ is a synonym for ‘diabolical’. So the only way I could ever say that such a combination makes sense is to say “Well, that’s the title of the opening track for the new Attila record.” and you would immediately understand, right? Of course you would. Attila is known for being nonsensical so something that makes no sense immediately makes sense in that context.
As ridiculous as that song title is (and many others on Guilty Pleasure are) the musicianship of the Georgia-bred tit titans is an aspect that is actually quite serious. Indeed, the lyrics you’re going to hear may be difficult to seriously take in but then you’re going to hear this guitar solo that holds its own against…oh, I dunno, every other modern nu metal band out there? The duality of Attila lies in the surprisingly impressive songwriting & bonkers ‘don’t let your mother hear you listening to this’ vulgarity of the band’s content. There’s a reason this CD comes with a huge parental advisory sticker plastered on the wrapping.
Attila’s brand of metal first & foremost is a fun blend of deathcore growls and breakdowns, egotistical rap, hip hop beats, 80’s shred guitarwork and bouncy down-tuned nu metal though. It’s a party seeing them live as any fan will tell you, even with all of those different elements combined. The question is though, is an Attila CD worth buying if their music is pretty much MADE to be heard live? For this reviewer’s money it is. The energy of a bouncy song like Horsepig (the song even tells you to “Get off your feet & jump”) cannot be contained even when being heard through your car speakers. As a matter of fact the entire 13 track album is bursting with energy & some of the finest grooves you’ll hear this year. The excellent mix only reinforces that. Every band member is constantly audible & you definitely want to hear what’s going on at all times. You’ll hear some of the band’s most party-worthy anthems but also some of their more somber concepts (notably Break My Addiction whose title is indicative of its lyrical content).
If you’ve heard the word ‘Attila’ mentioned outside of a well-known historical figure, you’ve also heard mention of the band’s fearless Capri-Sun-drinking leader Chris ‘Fronzilla’ Fronzak. Mr. Fronz is one of the most charismatic & outspoken frontmen in ANY scene these days & his personality completely shows throughout the entirety of the record. He addresses his haters (..pretty much every song on the album), issues authoritative commands (Rebel), provides surprising inspiration (Proving Grounds) & acts like a general whacko. Regardless, you’ll remember his name & persona, a compliment to his character. You’ll also remember his vocal delivery. Screams, growls, shouts, shrieks and rapping can all be heard from this one man in what is surely the best performance of his career thus far. I definitely preferred when Fronz did more rapping though because it’s so cool to hear it done (and done well) over such heavy instrumentals. And Fronz does more rapping on this record than he has previously.
But the guitarists in this band are where the real fun begins. The dirty glam-style solos that are strewn throughout various songs have become a part of Attila’s sound over time & they’re in their finest form here. Groovy, ass shake inducing riffs are also another common aspect of Attila and they’re hookier than ever before. The title track’s combination of fast, cocky rapping, heavy riffing & hilarious monologuing made it an instant favorite for me and was certainly a new avenue for the band while still containing familiar elements. The real hat trick of the album though is Rebel’s Rareform-era After The Burial style shredding that leads into what will surely be the band’s biggest crowd-pleasing chorus when played live. These are definitely Attila’s best-written songs and so consistent that the more serious lyrical direction in a few of the songs (a first for the band) doesn’t feel out of place. Even with some positive messages thrown in, this is still some of Attila’s darkest and heaviest material.
Allow me to “spit some truth” (I’m white, I swear): I could hate all over this album & it would still sell. Why? Because I’m giving it attention & publicity either way, which is exactly what any band desires. Does Attila deserve any form of attention whatsoever? Absolutely. And I say this with confidence because once a pumped-up crowd are heartily screaming “Tits! Tits! Tits!” back at the band as they play Dirty Dirty to a sold-out arena it will be clear that Attila are one of today’s best live bands. But even haters get love from Attila. Fronz himself mimics those lovable folks in the opening track before rebutting with “Ten years later and we’re still a fucking band. If you’ve ever been a hater I’m your number one fan!” He WANTS you to diss the band. Have you heard Hate Me? Hell, I’ve got reason to believe Attila could go for ten more years if they keep releasing quality, catchy, fun albums like Guilty Pleasure. After all, there’s a place for fun & humor in heavy music. Aren’t some of TV’s most-watched shows sitcoms? Not everything has to be so serious. Even if you don’t jam this album more than a few times, you’ll be happy to see the band live with this material & hear the new ideas the band introduced to their sound on the record.
Attila’s Guilty Pleasure earns a B+ for strong anthemic songwriting, a potent blend of rap, deathcore & groovy metal, some of the most quotable lyrics you’ll hear this year and a clear, impressive mix but it may be too over-the-top, lengthy and consistent for some listeners. This is a substantial record for Attila, but perhaps not substantial enough for every listener.