Label: Alcopop Release date: 04/10/10 Link: The Attika State's myspace Sometimes you feel bad for a guy who arrives late to a party. He's all prepped up to have the time of his life and everyone is either zoned out or ready to hit the sack. It's a harsh and horrible analogy and it could be perceived as a cheapshot at The Attika State, but it's not meant to be. Even if the first 30 seconds of '5 strings, no wins' (Measures opening track) really seem like something more at home in the happy punk era, The Attika State has much more to offer. Indeed, although Measures is very poppy with some punk aftertastes ('The Horton Shuffle' – a true happy tune), it would be an easy shot to tag The Attika State as a happy punk dinosaur harking from 2004 ('Celebration' is very AOR, though). In a way, they do seem to build on that dynamic, but there's still enough rock attitude ('We share enemies') in here to give it cred and probably the first signs that they have something else to offer and grow into their further (and hopefully not distant) efforts. The band does enterless noisier territories and this variation is a welcomed change. 'Flesh' and 'Bones' are less-than-a-minute ditties that offer a breather and there's a piano and strings combo helping the band in the nostalgic 'Spirit of Yesteryear' (another highlight of the album). Another major highlight for their sound is the voice. Again, it sort of feels “happy punk” in a way, but the pitch is a bit lower and there's something about the voice that feels just “right”: it never grates and although rocking in some places, it's pretty catchy. Rudi Barella has some range, with a few tender moments, like the intro to the earworm-ey 'Sons of sons' or the cute minisong 'Flesh'. The Attika State's rhythm section does has some high points too. Loved Tom Whittingham 's drumming in 'Sons of sons' (drum rolls are cool) and 'The Horton Shuffle' (probably my choice pick of Measures) and the bass work of Chrish Mathias in 'We share enemies' is pretty sweet. If you pine for some pop punk with some catchy hooks and a very distinct voice, check The Attika State. The music feels pretty optimistic too, a good remedy for these ugly times. Photobucket