I don’t remember too much about 1997. Not that I was inebriated beyond all belief or anything. It’s just that I’m getting old and having a harder time remembering some of the little things. I do know that my wife and I started going out in ’97. Shit . . . if I forgot that, well . . . I don’t want to go into it. The other thing that stands out in 1997 is the debut album from Attic of Love called Being You. What? You never heard of it? Shocking.
I know. You’re thinking, “Attic of Love. What are they? Some sort of peace loving acoustic hippy outfit?” The short answer to that is, no. The somewhat longer answer goes something like this. Attic of Love are a four piece rock band that embraces the harder edged post-grunge grit of bands like Candlebox and Tool and mixes it with the ‘60’s psychedelic progressive rock of Jethro Tull. Loud and abrasive, but tempered with the strong song dynamics, a sense of melody, and outstanding composition. Oh right, and there’s a lot of flute playing going on here. Don’t worry. It’s a whole lot cooler than you think.
You can get a great feel for what this album is about from the first minute of the disc. “Stealing Einstein’s Brain” opens with Michael Speziali bashing the hell out of his drums. Seconds later, a smoldering guitar riff provided by Andrew Gillings with bass accompaniment from Michael Sutfin create a bitchin’ wall of bluesy alt-metal groove. Mere seconds after that, the first strains of the flute pierce the classic rock soundings. And, immediately after that, and once he’s caught his breath, the buttery smooth, Ian Anderson-esque vocals of Andrew Tisbert begins telling us of a plot to swipe the preserved brain of Albert Einstein from some dude’s bookshelf. Guitar solos, for the most part, are replaced by Tisbert’s flute prowess, and in so many ways, he works the solos better than most guitarists would handle the parts. Check out the flute work at the 4:12 mark of “Einstein’s Brain,” and you’ll get a taste of some Tull influence. Very cool!
Second track, “Cripples in Love,” starts off with acoustic guitars before the band unleashes a wave of melodic groove over the melody. Commendable bass work and impassioned vocals drive this tune. “Hold My Family” is a dark lyrical tune that describes the American foster system and how families are torn apart. The imagery is vivid and the music, in the vein of Tool, compliments the lyrics perfectly. The opening of “Corpse” has a jazzy quality to it, and in many ways, may be the best track on the album. Again, the bass work is phenomenal as it rhythmically noodles over Gillings’ clean toned strumming. Tisbert’s vocal approach on the whole song is so filled with emotion that you’d swear that this is the most important thing that he’s ever sung.
Listening to Being You kind of pisses me off because this album was ten times better than anything on the air in 1997. Didn’t Re-Load come out in ’97? Here we are again with a quality musical offering that got swept under the rug. Attic of Love deserved a hell of a lot more attention than they received for this work. Listen to the title track and get blown away. This song has Iron Maiden written all over it. Instead of dual guitar harmonies, the flute plays the role of the second guitar. The instrumental break in the middle of the tune is out of this world. Flute solo, guitar solo, bass notes weaving in and out of the jam. Epic and sprawling, this tune makes me want to pick up my guitar and write a concerto!
Other stand out tracks are the Tool inspired “Klorox,” and the lyrically brilliant “Cambodia.” The latter track is not for the weak of stomach because Tisbert can paint a as grisly a picture as there is. But, sometimes we need to be reminded of the ugly reality of hate. It’s dark, my friends. All in all, Being You is a tuneful offering. Music that’s full of rock, littered with compassion, a little sprinkling of sentimentality, and lyrically uber-intelligent. Basically, it’s an album with so much depth that you’ll need scuba gear to grasp the full weight of it.
You can find a copy of the disc by following the links listed below, and you’ll want to do that versus the way I found my copy. Me? Oh, I found mine by thumbing through a quarter mile of haphazardly tossed CD’s with the ole Racer. In fact, that was the music run where after hearing the same click-click-click of plastic CD cases for nearly four hours, I flipped out and started break dancing on the cold concrete floor. Now, I don’t want any Waveriders to have to go to such extremes, so take the easy route. Contact the band and asked real nice-like on how you too can acquire this gem for your collection. - Pope JTE
The video isn't from Being You, but should give you a great idea of what this band is all about!