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Riot in the Attic – Those Who Don’t Belong

Riot in the Attic
Those Who Don’t Belong
by Gary Hernandez at 27 November 2022, 2:57 PM

RIOT IN THE ATTIC is a Hard Rock trio out of Cologne, Germany. They formed in 2014 and have released a balance of two EPs and two full-length albums. While most stories about the Covid years are about stagnation, RIOT IN THE ATTIC not only managed to release their debut full-length, “Dawn” during this time, but also wrote and then reworked and remastered songs that would become their sophomore album, “Those Who Don’t Belong.” As the band states, the tracks on this album were “rewritten, recorded, mixed, rewritten again, recorded again, mixed again, mastered” until they reached final iteration and were released on November 10, 2022 via Monkey Road Records.

With a name as ominous as RIOT IN THE ATTIC, the band is surprisingly non-Metal. Veering more to the Rock and Stoner side of the spectrum, they are easily accessible for mainstream Metal/Hard Rock fans. This sentiment carries over thematically as well. The ten songs on “Those Who Don’t Belong” aren’t filled with darkness and despair. The outsiders depicted in the lyrics are the ones who decide to carry on despite life’s burdens. Strangely optimistic, the songs speak to somber stoicism which eventually lead to brighter days. The opening lines from the final track, “Wildfire,” capture the essence of the entire album:

“What are you waiting for?
Grab your dreams and let it flow.
I´m sick, I´m tired and lonely,
But I know which way to go”

Even the haggard hound illustrated on the cover seems to be imbued with the same survival drive. Above the hound, eagles or hawks are in flight; beside him, vultures are sitting still in a haggard tree; and, importantly, behind the sun is rising on the horizon. This is a picture of hope, dire, but still hope. You can almost imagine the black and white tones beginning to colorize as the hound strides onward.

All the tracks are good. No clunkers, but no mindblowers either. Very even keeled, this album. The one track that surprised me was “Sand & Water” which has a full runtime of over eight minutes. The thing is, it’s an instrumental. Compositionally it rides several waves, taking the listener across a rich landscape. For a track with no lyrics, it conveys loads of feelings. Not to take anything away from the vocalist, Dan, but this is probably my favorite track on the album.

If you are new to RIOT IN THE ATTIC, what should you expect? Clean vocals, heavy but mid-toned riffs, groove-laden melodies. While the first four tracks come on heavy, the six others feature less distortion and are more bluesy. I should also mention—because it’s one of the first things listeners will notice—Dan has that Axl Rose / Scott Weiland 90’s vibe. So if you are a big 90’s Hard Rock fan, prepare for a nostalgic blast.

All things considered, “Those Who Don’t Belong” sums up to a good Rock album. Rock and Hard Rock fans are likely to appreciate it; those with more Extreme predilections may not find it  dark or visceral enough.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.  Sin & Wine
2.  Drag Me Down
3.  Soma (Part I)
4.  Wandering Dog
5.  Interlude
6.  …And There was Dust
7.  Soma (Part II)
8.  All For One
9.  Sand & Water
10.  Wildlife
Lineup:
Dan – Guitars, vocals
Tobi – Bass
Damir – Drums
Record Label: Monkey Road Records
     


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