I picked up on Shinedown around the time the band released The Sound of Madness which I personally thought was a strong record filled with radio anthems, crunching guitar riffs and some of the strongest and melodic vocals I had heard in some time.
Here we are with Attention Attention the sixth album from the Florida rockers and I’m hoping they don’t follow the formula of last release Threat to Survival, an album that put a bad taste in my mouth and put them off my radar for a while.
It all begins with “Devil” which has a cranking weird riff that I love from the off. Vocalist Brent Smith‘s vocals are strong and clear and very much back to The Sound of Madness days. This track has that album written all over it. “Black Soul” is a step in a different direction at first but then when it gets going the anthemic side of Shinedown is back. Some electronic sounds inserted here and there sound orchestral and make the song’s tempo feel like a heartbeat being shocked back to life.
The title track “Attention, Attention” sounds like a rap song throughout the verse section before they break into a catchy rock chorus which merges both styles and will undoubtedly be heard on daytime radio at some point. “Kill Your Conscience” sounds like a dance track at first and turns out to be the worst track I’ve heard so far.
With a name like “Pyro“, it had to be fast and heavy with a huge chorus and a titanic riff that reminds me of Metallica. “Monsters” kicks off with a vibrato riff which turns into a monster ballad of sorts. Best track on the album so far. “Darkside” is uptempo with an almost industrial feel to it with the weirdest breakdown.
“Creatures” has a haunting acoustic riff and is clearly a ballad from the off. The orchestral string section suits the track and the chorus is huge. “Evolve” is another track that sounds very industrial but still has a good rock chorus to it. “Get Up” sounds like a complete grasp on trying to hit the top 40 Billboard chart. It’s so sugary sweet it’s made me throw up in my mouth.
“Special” is very similar to “Get Up” only more acoustic driven. It has that The Sound of Madness feel to it. “The Human Radio” is a bit weird at first but then launches into heaviosity. Unfortunately, it goes back and forth between both styles. “Brilliant” is an album saver for me. I really liked this track. It’s full of energy and punch. It’s fast-paced throughout without letting up and reminds me of Dragonforce in parts.
Final thoughts on Shinedown – Attention Attention
To be totally honest for me it was an album of ups and downs. Some of the tracks were what I wanted to hear from this band. There was also progress without a doubt but saying that they strayed too far from Shinedown for my liking. Some of the tracks that went in a newer direction I liked but others I thought didn’t fit at all.
Decibel rating 6/10