Orlando punks the Attack would have been hard-pressed to come up with a more perfect title for their (long-overdue) debut album than Of Nostalgia and Rebellion. Although certainly not old-timers, the members of the band hew to a catholic strain of punk rock with roots in the youth movements of ’90s street punk, ’80s hardcore and, of course, the original fires of the late ’70s. All of these versions of punk rock had two things in common: a deeply rooted and aggressive sense of “us against them” and a desire to reconfigure the healing powers of rock & roll into something that aimed to be both transcendent and down-to-earth. If the Attack is nostalgic for anything, then, it’s not a sound, but an attitude that three chords, a six-pack and a fire in your belly is all you need to overthrow the system.
These ex-Spitvalves and current Overdalers, of course, lean a bit more heavily on the “six-pack” and “fire” parts of that equation; their shows – while not quite Flogging Molly–style keg-drainers – are focused squarely on pub-rock fundamentals, although the band’s rousing anthems tend to be more musically complex than standard hardcore fare. Yet they are precisely calibrated to deliver maximum impact, thanks to vocalist Charlie Bender’s shout-singing calls to arms, Brad Palkevich’s beefy guitar lines and an impressively fluid rhythm section (bassist Mikey Cortes and drummer Tito Esquiaqui) that’s as capable of banging out a double-time pit rhythm as they are of making “Bad Moon Rising” sound like a lost punk classic.
Of Nostalgia manages to capture the emphatic energy of those live shows while emphasizing some superior punk songcraft (cuts like “Stolen” and “Prove It” are bracingly fresh takes on the musical middle-finger). It may all sound familiar at first, but then again, that’s sort of the point.