A Word Like Attack – Hoboblin, Staines

If you prefer your metal to be post-punk post-apocalyptic and rhythmically complex then A word like.Attack is for you. This Southampton based five-piece post-hardcore band played the Hob, Staines last week bringing all their sounds from the school of foundry steel with them.

There is no lack of drama or feeling in A word like.Attack’s hammer and tongs attitude and carefully welded songs. ‘Move the Still Life’ fairly trips along, getting under the skin like an alien bloodsucker. The song even has a hummable verse and a clean vocal style from frontman David Berner. But the dissonant guitars veer around the central themes, creating an infestation of loopholes in the rhythm and building up undue pressure before spewing out ice cold shardlets of pain.  Softer touches such as breathy supporting vocals from Joe Edwards (also programming) appear thrillingly fleeting before a frenzy of sleepless night growls and those harmful inner voices raised as a dangerous black magic by Rich Berner on guitars.

‘He’s Going Through a Lion Phase’ is as hot and as dark as a blacksmith’s apron – contaminated with iron filings and fierce white-hot chips of swarf. Shards of steel poke through and fly around the soundscape – fluttering dangerously close to the candlelight of your sensibilities before burning your heartstrings. This is a hammering, thundering onslaught of a song – cemented together by the technical prowess of Adam Guest on bass guitar and the start-stop rhythms, harsh beats and power noise components from Alex Urch on percussion.

The crowd at The Hob, Staines enjoyed negotiating the factory gates of this doomy darkly brooding band and carefully populating their world of gray and black, ice and cold.  Incongruous rhythms add to the anguish and the vocals from Dave seemed like they are squeezed out through a tortuous mincing machine. But the band is bursting with creative energy and has a factory grade stage presence to match their technical mastery and guitar based instrumentation.

‘Good Luck in Your Future Endeavours’ features all those same progressive rhythms, dark cold metal chords and cemented dark metal strings all cold-hardened together to form the kind of melody that pierces your heart like a stiletto. This exciting band creates more tension and release than one of  Beth Ditto’s suspender belts.

Technically brilliant this band deserves to go far. May the God of luck be with them all the way.

© Neil_Mach
March 2010

PS:  Since this gig the band has announced that they have ‘broken up’ – they say they have taken the music as far as they can…



Ad Pontes Staines- music arts & going out IN STAINES

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