The first time ATTENTION SYSTEM sat down together with their instruments in the summer of 2008, they had one common goal in mind: to write music that would make people dance.
With darkwave and punk at their core, Brian Fisher (vocals, keys), Joshua Broughton (guitar, vocals), Jonathan Davis (guitar), Chris Edmonds (bass) and Jason Curtis (drums) were ready for something new. Dabbling in the world of electronics, they've managed to fuse '80s synth pop with their darker undertones - and they've created what they only half-jokingly like to call "a rock band who's mugged an electronica band and is digging through a stolen, dirty pair of pants for extra synth lines."
They've been compared to The Faint, The Presets and Does It Offend You, Yeah? -- and while the band certainly counts these among their influences, Attention System's music packs a heavier punch while remaining highly danceable.
In Oct of 2008 ATTENTION SYSTEM independently released a self produced EP which earned the band generous local and regional radio airplay, plus a nationally televised commercial for the DIY Network. In just over a year the band has gone from unknown local act to headlining packed weekend shows in Atlanta's notorious underground rock and dance venues. Their live shows have generated citywide buzz, landing them numerous opening slots for national acts and the Readers Choice Award for Best New Music Act in The Creative Loafing's Best Of Atlanta 2009 edition.
With their grip on the Atlanta music scene firmly established, ATTENTION SYSTEM set out to broaden their regional presence with an aggressive touring schedule throughout the southeast in 2009. At the same time, they headed back to the studio to track their first full-length record. With the new album now completed, the band is gearing up for an explosive 2010 with the highly anticipated release of their CD, new High-definition videos and extensive bookings along the East Coast.
And here it is: "Wait For My Signal". Twelve tracks of catchy but dark electro rock which will make people dance everywhere.
Record at LedBelly Sound Studio. Engineered by Matt Washburn. Mixed and mastered by Brian Fisher.
"I wonder if Atlanta's Attention System realize how close they came to broaching the point of no return, how infinitesimal the distance between their combustible darkwave and electro punk and some mass market, made for advertising, '80s synth rock schlock? And if you think that's meant to be critical or snarky or insulting, you can suck it. This is some high-wire, tightrope walking shit I'm talking about, and AS handle it deftly with style. Because it's real easy for this kind of thing to turn out badly. Real ugly. Gutless, spineless, rote, mundane. You doubt me? Take a listen to The Killers sometime.
Fortunately, AS manage to avoid such embarrassing pratfalls and plastic pop pretension by injecting their music with some genuine heart and tenacity while simultaneously retaining the sort of infectious hooks that makes for memorable music. Let's also consider the fact that at a time when flaccid indie rock and safe, unassuming pop dominates the airwaves and blogosphere, these guys actually want to make you dance. Imagine the nerve! No more passive head bobbing in dull-eyed unison! No more vacant staring and complacent beard stroking! This is your wake up call! Participation is required, movement mandatory! Now dance, motherfucker, dance!
Ultimately, Wait For My Signal, the band's debut LP, is a dark, pulsing dance rock record made for late night tromps through darkened underground clubs and seedy back alley dives. It's gritty and dirty; just sinister enough to keep you from settling in too comfortably. There are some black-lit, Interpol-inspired goth nuances-just listen to the way Brian Fisher's half spoken, half sung vocals linger and drone-but the songs here are too hyperkinetic and propulsive to cater to the musical fetishisms of the bleak and overly mascara-ed. In truth, there is a lot more of The Faint's retro-futurism at work here: songs that ride in on new-wave synth swells and exit on the heels of sharp, gyrating art-punk guitars and the occasional cacophonous industrial surge. And yet, for all of its dance macabre exhortations and the buzz, click and hiss of keyboards, Wait For My Signal is primarily a guitar, drum and bass-driven record. It's a collection of rock songs masquerading as dance music for kids who want to frantically pump their fists as much as they want to grind down on their partner.
And it's the ability to maintain that fine edge between cathartic elation and celebratory escape that makes this record successful. Tracks like the crackling opener "Resistant Transistor," "Siren's City" and "Radio Silence" are essentially rock anthems-big, loud and boisterous-washed loosely in a vibrant dance floor veneer. It's nothing particularly new or necessarily that bold, but its fierce spirit and aura of authenticity make up for the lack of defining ingenuity. Still, even in music there can be too much of a good thing and Wait For My Signal suffers occasionally from a feeling of sameness that makes tracks like "Bot Killer" and "The Curious Times" feel empty and disposable. Attention System are undoubtedly skilled artists but they keep using the same brushes and applying the same textures. In the future greater variance in their approach would allow them to expand their sound and mature as musicians. But for now this is good. It's solid-at times exhilarating-stuff; an album that should go a long way towards cementing the group's place as one of Atlanta's most promising young bands. - Moe Castro / The Latest Disgrace
"Attention System is an electro-rock band from the heart of Atlanta. They have an incredible live show and their new CD, "Wait for my Signal" is a great listen. The band is comprised of 5 members, Brian Fisher on vocals and keys, Joshua Broughton on guitar and vocals, Jonathan Davis on guitar, Chris Edmonds on bass guitar and Jason Curtis on drums.
The album draws on many external influences such as club dance, hard rock, disco to the big booming sound of newer metal bands. The singer even tends to have a country, Chris Isaak feel to his crooning, making all the ladies in the club feel slightly weak at the knees. The lyrics are genuine as is the music as a whole. The theme throughout the album is like the compromise between machine and soul, breaking down boundaries and introducing new ideas. Titles such as BOT killer and Resistant Transistor exhibit some of the mechanical tendencies and songs such as Siren's City and Radio Silence show some of the more humanistic side of the CD. You can almost picture the band's collective vision of a neo-future city reminiscent of the film Blade Runner.
Although the band did not record with electronic drums as other bands of this vein have, and the bass is typically not simulated, it still has a clean and tight sound to it. The electronic sound is not separate from the live sound and is one of the best recordings mixing the two sounds since the Flaming Lips 'Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots' release. The singing is distinctive and adds more flavor to the sound, and the guitar wails on and on to the rhythm of the simulated city. Users will enjoy rocking out to this CD, although not a lot could overcome the spectacle of Attention System's live show. This is a well produced album with a ton of soul. Track 5, Drastic Measures, is one of my favorites because of the dissonance and originality of the breaks in it. All of the songs are very listenable, especially for those of you who like to actively listen to a CD. It shows a lot of intelligence in song writing and it is obvious that this CD was made by a very dedicated band. I can only see good things happening for this band. They are hard working, fluid and in general awesome musicians and they rock so well that a name is already made for them. This release speaks of familiar things in an unfamiliar world, and speaks of paranoia but also of bravery and resistance to this new change.
Overall, this is the perfect album for Attention System at this point in their musical career, and is definitely worth the buy. All the tracks lead to the same point and it is just plain great to listen to however you feel like partying, by yourself like a personal pan pizza or with others like 10 pizzas delivered straight to your door. So go out and get a slice!" - BeAtlanta.com