For Fans Of
Attila is not a serious band. Anyone who has ever downloaded an Attila record will be sure to reinforce that they’re joking. It’s not literal. You need to chill out. The fact is that whether Attila’s goal is to offend you or not, it’s inevitable that they will. ‘Guilty Pleasure’ is an embodiment of what Attila have built their success on: the use of crude language to master ‘partycore’ while also conveying the assumption that the narcissistic members of this band are the centre of the universe. Alongside that is a shudder-inducing arrogance that ripples throughout this LP and which is, for the most part, unwarranted.
For some reason, Attila’s lyrics function on the premise that all people should or do actually like their band, and that haters are simply irrational. If you’re seeking proof, see eponymous song ‘Guilty Pleasure’ and closing track ‘The Cure.’ The latter preaches a remedy to your ‘jealousy’, while the former assumes that people actually ‘wanna be like’ vocalist Chris Fronzak. Evidently, they’re naïve to the notion that individuals are entitled to choose to switch off a band. As track ‘Rebel’ blatantly suggests that you, cheery listener, or whoever Attila is speaking to, were born to be degraded (in words less sophisticated than those.) The defence that these lyrics aren’t serious doesn’t make them any more tolerable. ‘Don’t Be Basic’ is a 20 second spoken word that further presumes the world is jealous of Attila, but these people ‘just want what’ they ‘can’t have.’
If not for the lyrics, this record’s score would have been raised significantly. Sonically, it masters party metalcore conventions in a fun, enjoyable manner. ‘Dirty Dirty’ has a fast beat that accommodates muscle-pulling headbanging and a killer, memorable guitar solo. Also commendable is the odd rap/scream combination that features prominently on ‘Break My Addiction.’ Needless to say, the constant breakdowns, notably exemplified in ‘Fake Friends’, don’t bring innovation to the table, but when they’re done, they’re done well. There are other redeeming factors on the record, including its superb production quality and songs that tone down the derogatory language to prop Attila up as a band who empowers their fan base.
‘I’ve Got Your Back’ is the record’s standout track. It shows that Attila actually have potential when they aren’t swearing at you like you’ve actually done something other than posted a Youtube comment on one of their music videos, with positive vibes coursing through it. It makes it clear why people like, and would defend, Attila – hell, if every song shredded like this one, we’d probably join that crusade. ‘Horsepig’ similarly uses gang vocals to convey the supportive assertion that Attila and their fans are ‘the kids with unstoppable minds’ who shouldn’t live in ‘conformity’, but also possesses a heavy opening that implores you to nod your head.
But that’s just the thing: Attila still sound like kids. They lack the maturity to see that using terms relating to sexual offences casually in ‘Proving Grounds’ is not okay, and that normalising insults like ‘faggot’ despite Fronzak claiming that ‘gay people rule’ won’t make the world a better place. At least they thank you for buying the CD on ‘Pizza, Sex and Trolls.’
At the end of the day, this album isn’t going to win Attila any new fans. It’s a good thing that on ‘Hate Me’ they use a Joan Jett-esque mimic to claim that they don’t care about their bad reputation, because ‘Guilty Pleasure’ sure as hell isn’t set to improve it.
1. “Pizza, Sex and Trolls”
2. “Hate Me”
4. “Guilty Pleasure”
5. “I’ve Got Your Back”
6. “Proving Grounds”
7. “I Am Satan”
8. “Break My Addiction”
10. “Dirty Dirty”
11. “Fake Friends”
12. “Don’t Be Basic”
13. “The Cure”