Off Yer Rocka Recordings
Review by Rick Ossian
This set is Attica Rage‘s fourth full-length LP, and they really have a piece of good stuff in their hands here. I can tell you right now that, if these blokes have anything to say about it, the future of Heavy Rock is in very good hands. Glasgow‘s Attica Rage are Jonny Parr on vocals and guitar, Richie Rage on drums (Jonny’s brother), Stevie Bell on guitar and Matthew Ward on bass. Most of the tracks on here are excellent representations of the band’s powerful talents. They only slow down for a bit here and there, and on the giant monster of a Bluesy powerful rock closer, Haunted. It’s so big it has its own prelude. But more of that in a bit. First, let’s check out the other tunes!
Beyond the 45 is one hell of an opener with a powerful guitar-laced intro. The opening riff is straight out of Hell Avenue and Riff Street, and is straight up heavy as fuck. At the 2:38 mark there is a bass breakdown that is positively bad-ass, and the vocals kicking in make it even better. There is a brief lead snipped at about three minutes in, and more lead(s) at 3:50. This track is a declaration of intent, and one hell of an opener:” Hey! It’s time to stand up/Time to shout/Gotta move on/Gotta keep up!”
Falling Down, by contrast, is almost a heavy punk stomp, if you will. There is a cool, heavy opening riff again, both guitar and bass stomping down on the pedals. This track is chock full of riffing and lead bits, check out the brief lead at :55 and the longer one at two minutes in, and you will hear what I’m speaking of. The vocals can soar if he (Jonny) wants, and ride low in the gutter in the same stretch. More riffing/lead playing toward the close (3:20) rounds things out nicely for us. Another excellent tune!
The title track is up next, and it is an absolute barn-burner. I love the riffing on this number, it is heads town and heavy, no-nonsense stuff. Lots of Heavy Metal/Hard Rock slamming. At three minutes in we get a nice heavy lead. It is simple and shredding and simply powerful! Dig the main riff, too, it is an excellent stomper. I love how at the end of the track you think it’s over, but the band are just psyching you out. They sound like they could be starting another tune instead of fading away, as most tracks do at the end. Just thought I’d mention it, it’s refreshing, that’s all!
El Chupacabra comes into our gaze to follow, and it is another great riff, almost reminiscent of say a Sabbath or Motörhead grind. Nice chugging heaviness seems to rule the roost on this and a couple of the other tunes. Now THIS is more like it, and definitely what I am talking about when I refer to Heavy Rock. It’s like Hard Rock, but it’s Heavy Metal at the same time. Excellent stuff! Though El Chupacabra could “suck the life from your soul“, he rocks out rather nicely, and throws in a nice long shred about three minutes in for good measure.
All Summer Long features lots more riffing, and I felt like standing up when I heard this one! There are some brief guitar stabs at 1:05 and 2:30, and this is first and foremost a guitar feast, if you will! “Back to reality/ Back to the other me”, bellows Jonny. He brings us into the fold occasionally, and this is one of those times. This, again, has a beautiful chugging to it. The leads are also very good.
Lost in Memory stretches out a bit more (it has room too at almost 6 minutes). There is an ominous fingerpicking intro that gives way to nice kicking in of things at 1:20. This is a bit mellower than the other tunes but still pretty damned good. This track is in what I like to refer to as storyteller mode, in which – you guessed it – the singer is trying to tell us a story. The lead guitar piece at 2:35 is a wonderful piece of Southern-fried bluesy shred, and is followed by a stomping build-up at 3:20. The final guitar bit (4:25) is another good shred. The ominous fingerpicking returns at the close. All in all another excellent track.
Into the Ether begins life with bells and a sort of questioning look on my face as I absorbed the freaky weird intro. It is a very cool instrumental track, and is a bit shorter than most of the other tunes on board. The building and pounding of the drums at two minutes in is lovely, but we are mainly being driven by the bass in this track, it would seem. At 2:15 there is a nice guitar bit. …Ether is an exciting track, particularly considering it’s an instrumental…
New World Decay is up next, and starts out with drums first, then guitar and bass, and threatens with a brief lead at twenty seconds in. When the vocals join at thirty-five seconds in, accompanied with the heavy-duty riffing going on, it’s all right there and starts right away and it’s just very exciting stuff. Am I babbling? Sometimes I get a bit incoherent when listening to such things! At 2:25 we get a nice lengthy ripping shred, and at three minutes in things shift to an even HEAVIER mood and tempo. There is lots of riffing and lead guitar work going on, and it goes pretty much right up to the close. There are trills and thrills and riffs right there in your face till the very end.
Haunted, the closer, is a real beast of a track. It is nigh on eight minutes, and as mentioned before, it is such a leviathan that it has its own Prelude tacked on to it. The prelude is spooky, and mainly consists of a bit of feedback and some brief guitar harmonics. However, once we get to the big kahuna, it is NOT just a regular wave. It is a powerful rambling bluesy number with big vocals and just as big guitar riffs. It begins, of course, with another of those ominous fingerpicking bits, then kicks in at about forty-five seconds in. There is guitar power here, stately, majestic stuff. About two minutes in things shift to a heavy, ballad-style blues, and we get a nice guitar solo at the 2:40 point. The ominous fingerpicking returns at three minutes in, and the refrain reminds us (3:45) that things will kick in again. This track is all over the place, but still basically just a blues number. “I can’t live in your world/I can’t live on your terms“, Jonny pines. You can almost hear is heart breaking. Honestly, you can. The stately powerful blues of the final shreddings starts at about 5:15 and goes to the close. What monster lead work! This is the best album I’ve heard in at least the last month or two.