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REVIEW: Shinedown is about to get heavy on ‘ATTENTION ATTENTION’

The Devil’s in the next room.

Shinedown prove they are still as heavy and thought provoking in new LP ATTENTION ATTENTION

Shinedown fans have had to wait about three years for a new record from the alternative rock/metal band, but luckily their sixth studio LP ATTENTION ATTENTION has come bursting through the door and has decided to take no prisoners.

The follow-up to 2015’s Threat to Survival is more than just any old rock record that gets put on the shelf. This time around Shinedown have come back with a concept album, with the idea being dealing with depicting a human overcoming their negativity through personal struggles to be reborn as a new person.

The overall vibe of ATTENTION ATTENTION still has that slightly dated mid/late 2000’s post-grunge vibe to it. Rather than feeling like they are just recycling an old sound and refusing to grow creatively Shinedown manage to use this sound to drive home the message of the album even further.

There are some subtle modern electronic influences in certain places as well, but they are kept in the background and are very few and far between in order to keep the focus of the music on the guitar driven rock and roll.

The album starts with a bunch of background noise that sounds like someone is sitting down in a closed off office room in a factory. When it ends with a deep breath, the first full track “DEVIL” comes barreling in and pulling no punches.

The guitar riff has this swagger to it and the drums absolutely ground and pound. Brent Smith‘s vocals have this charisma to them that keep anyone hanging on his every word wondering what he will say next and how powerfully or foreboding he will say it. The triplets used in the vocal melody at certain parts are also rather appetizing.

One track that stands out as thought provoking and slightly jaw dropping is “KILL YOUR CONSCIENCE”. While musically it is not anything that remarkable, it is the lyrical content that will instantly and tightly grasp anyone’s attention.

In a day and age where so many people just go along with what everyone else is, it can become difficult to cope mentally with some of the emotional backlash that comes from it – thus having to kill one’s conscience in order to do so.

There are multiple piano driven ballads on ATTENTION ATTENTION such as “special” and “GET UP”. “special” in particular is quite the shocking piece of music in that instead of trying to convince the listener that they are unique, amazing, and wonderful, it talks about how no one in particular is special, but it is perfectly ok and does not matter.

“BRILLIANT” closes the record on such a driving, upbeat, positive note. After finally having drudged through the muck of the struggles with the world’s darkness and the darkness within, it is very clear that this song is one of self-affirmation and shining through it all as a brilliant, gleaming spirit.

Overall, ATTENTION ATTENTION is a solid record. While musically it is not the most groundbreaking or mind blowing thing in the world, in this instance it seems more like an aural accent to get across the story/message Shinedown is trying to tell. It is a journey certainly worth taking.

Rating: 4/5

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