Album Review :
The Attending - Are You Watching Closely?

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Artist: The Attending

Album: Are You Watching Closely?

Record Label:  Blood And Ink

  1. La Jetee
  2. Pin The Sidewalks
  3. Smoke on a String
  4. Larger Than Life
  5. Small Jars
  6. Decimals
  7. If The Coast is Clear

What will always catch my attention in regards to reviewing a certain bands album is when they get compared to bands that I enjoy a great deal. That must not be a surprise because that is just how people are. When I received an email asking to do a review on The Attending’s, “Are You Watching Closely?”, I was told that they sounded like some of my favorite bands like Brand New and Thrice.  Being led by front man, Corey Stroffolino (ex Life in Your Way), The Attending add seven songs that are emotionally driven and packed with great musicianship.

Before I had time to contemplate the good things about this batch of songs, what hit me hard was the lack of quality on the production.  There is a raw sound but it is not a good raw sound.  The cleans on the guitars sound pretty good, especially when being covered but a warm delay and reverb. However when the rhythm guitars distort for a driven section, they sound weak and hollow. There are times that it also seems that some songs were not recorded in the same studio or with different producers.  There is just not a consistent direction revolving around the quality of the album.

Vocally, Corey sounds good for the majority of the album.  Especially in his lower tone, which has a Jesse Lacey type sound which will make the girls panic while he sings (Yes! a Brand New reference and quote). He sounds the best on the song “If The Coast is Clear”.  He seems to have the best control of his voice in that song. All of the others he pushes his voice but to me doesn’t have the same feel. There sounds to be control but the tone sounds off with the music when the parts are a little faster and pushed.  But with the sections that are a bit more ambient and cleaner, Corey has a good, clear tone that flows with interesting melody lines.

I understand the comparison to Brand New a little more then I do Thrice.  A lot of the melodies have a Jesse Lacey flow and obviously Corey has a bit of the tone as well. The funny thing is that the calmer sections remind one of the album “Daisy”, and the more driven sections are similar to “Your Favorite Weapon”.  Musically it sounds a lot like Brand New and Minus the Bear. Great musicianship all around from interesting guitar leads to pretty good drum fills to even some great bass lines and make this a musically interesting album.

Songs that stand out are “La Jetee” and “If The Coast Is Clear”.  The other songs are good but are don’t stand out as well.

Overall: This is a good pick up if you like the style.  It is also a good find if you can listen past the lack of production in it.  The music and format of the songs are more then decent. Obviously there are some problems such as the production and there is a concern with the strength in the technique of the vocals at some times.  Still though, check out The Attending’s “Are You Watching Closely”. It is worth the time.

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