If you are hankering to be in on the ground level of something potentially very special then check out Northern Ireland alternative rockers Attack The Day and debut release, the Shadows EP. The six track release is a compelling and striking introduction to the County Fermanagh quintet which, though it is early days, suggests it is the beginning of bigger and bolder things. Ripe with varied flavours and imagination bred twists, its rich persuasion comes stocked with strong ideas which are not always fully realised but persistently spark a hunger for more in ears and appetite.
Formed 2012 in Lisnaskea, Attack The Day completed their line-up two years later with vocalist Dáithí Murphy. Since forming the band has been a constant presence on the local live scene subsequently spreading further afield and adding the sharing of stages with the likes of Cadaver Club, Axecatcher, The DMs, and Making Monsters to their CV as well as a tour with Germans Suddenly Human across Ireland and the UK. The release of Shadows is the next potent step in breaking broader attention, and as it consumes and ignites ears with every listen, success is expected here.
The EP opens with Intro, a minute long piece of guitar shaped coaxing which does not startle but certainly has intrigue and attention to what is following aroused. It slips away to make way for Alive, a track instantly bulging with metal seeded riffs and badgering rhythms within an aggression wash of guitar. The vocals of Murphy step into the mix with a raw and aggressive delivery, his unpolished lure soon enhanced further by additional anthemic contributions elsewhere. Tagged as alternative metal/rock band, band and song soon show they are just as rife with punk confrontation and hardcore tempestuousness as well as an inventive want to infuse other slithers and spices of varied styles.
Boisterously anthemic, the track is matched and swiftly surpassed by Egyptian. More controlled in its entrance, the song quickly prowls ears vocally and musically as the guitars of Mark Cadden and Donavan McBrien cast nagging unrelenting bait with the brooding bass of Ciaran Fitzpatrick growling around them. As the persistence and intimidation of guitars and Shane McGovern’s heavily jabbing beats continue to brew a thick tempting there is no mistaking an early Therapy? feel to the encounter, especially when Cadden spills some potent sonic enterprise into the brewing tempest. The song simply continues to grip as it leads the listener into the even more impressive Divided.
The third song emerges with a post punk coldness to vocals and tone, the dark resonating bass initially the lone provocateur apart from firm beats before just as chilled tendrils of guitar winds around its addictive bait. Like Babyshambles meets Psychedelic Furs, the song gets under the skin with its infectious charm and inventive tenacity. It never explodes into a tsunami of sound and persuasion but leaves a breathless satisfaction in its wake all the same. The song is superb and if using just one offering to make a choice whether to embrace the band or not, it has everything you need to know about their craft, quality, and potential.
So too has the EPs title track to be fair, its Deftones like breath a lingering seducing within a fiery lure of melodies and sonic endeavour, veined by again a captivating rhythmic whipping up of attention. Though it has a feisty energy, the song crawls over the senses, preying on ears and imagination with increasing drama and explosive almost hostile unpredictability and enterprise, climaxing in an Able Archer like roar.
The release closes with This Is How It Ends, McGovern and Fitzpatrick providing a gripping and menacing canvas to which guitars and the increasingly impressive melancholic tones of Murphy lay their potent craft and expression. This time a feel of the Only Ones emerges, though as across the EP, any references spring from a sound and presence distinct to Attack The Day. The song is a swarm of monotone but endearing textures and a tangy grooving of guitar which also has a foot in eighties post punk and nineties alternative metal, it all adding up to something fresh and contagious.
As suggested earlier, there are elements within Shadows which do not go as bravely far enough as they might but with every listen the EP just grows and impresses more. Attack The Day is a presence to make a note of at the very least but recommended to dive into right now so you catch their ascent from its first wind.
The Shadows EP is out now @ https://attacktheday.bandcamp.com/releases