Album Review :
Attaboy - Shout

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Band: Attaboy
Title: Shout
Label: N/A
Release Date: 2009
Review By: Scott L


01. Shout
02. Ready To Run
03. In A Sense
04. Feel
05. Lost And Found
06. On My Wall
07. Dangerous
08. I Don’t Wanna Fight

I have to admit that when I got this EP in the mail, I was less than excited. As a reviewer I know that it’s my job to do my best to lay aside my personal biases and provide as impartial a review as possible. But seriously, who can do that? My dilemma was that I’m just not a big fan of pop-punk. And with a name like Attaboy, I just knew these guys were gonna be pop-punk. Boy was I wrong. And boy was I happy about it. Because boy is this a sweet CD.

Attaboy is a 3-piece out of Indiana that plays a radio-friendly, pop-oriented alt-rock that has a maturity not often seen in the indie market. This may be partially due to the fact that “Shout” is their fourth actual release in just the last few years. They seem to work hard and are rewarded for it with a quality sounding product. Not to mention that I heard Ian Eskelin’s ever so distinct influence on a couple tracks. These guys have a sound that would fit in well with the likes of We Shot The Moon, Parade The Day, and Valencia. Upbeat and flowing easily through the songs, they speed up, slow down, throw in some keys, and let out the groove… generally keeping you guessing and keeping things fresh. Any one of these songs could be in regular radio rotation. And a couple of them honestly should be in regular radio rotation.

Lyrically, Attaboy’s 8-song EP, “Shout”, is all about looking at life through a positive attitude. The reality of pain and hardship is there, but it’s always followed up with hope and encouragement. Check out “Ready To Run”, which says, “why do I stay in the same place / when there’s so much more to see / why do I wear the same old face / when there’s so much more to me / how can I / knowing what I know / sit here in this town / how can I / keep on walking slow / when it’s time for moving out / I’m ready to run / I’m ready to run / a brand new day’s about to come / I’ll be doing what I’ve never done / I’m ready to run”. Or how about the song “In A Sense”, a nifty play on words that says, “pain, pain, go away / come again another day / when I have the strength to stand up / my heart’s been beaten and bruised enough / another day another rejection / one more defeat for my collection / in a sense / it’s too late to return to innocence / once you’ve been exposed”.

“If we could sum up our mission as a band, it would be to address the deeper questions regarding life and spirituality, while offering very real hope,” says Caley. “While recording new, thoughtful music is part of that, our favorite part is to pack it all in a van and hit the road in an effort to meet and interact with as many people as possible.”

Standout track was definitely the title track “Shout”. It opens the EP with a bit of dreamy sounding guitars before breaking into an anthemic rock song. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this is the tune that kicks off the live show. It’s just a smooth as ice, high energy song with a super infectious groove that’s geared to get the crowd up and moving.

Apparently these guys were formerly known as Hot Sundae. While that remains unsubstantiated, if that is in fact true… these guys get an ‘A’ in wise-name-changes 101. Because what’s a hot sundae without the fudge anyway? Melted ice cream. Where as an ‘attaboy’ is a word of encouragement. Way cooler and far less mess.. even if it sounds a bit pop-punk.

Overall: If you’re already a fan of Attaboy, you can expect the same high quality and catchy music as on previous releases… literally with 2 of the songs. But, hey, there’s still 6 new ones. If you’ve never heard of these guys, “Shout” is a great place to start. Especially if you like pop rock with a dash of flash.