ABOUT TIME! - The Attack (RPM/Bam Caruso)
“Making up the four great bands of the 1966 pop-apocalypse were the Who, the Action, the Creation and finally the Attack,” reads the tray-card blurb. Well, not quite: The Attack were obviously not in a league with the Who or the Creation, and not as charismatic as the Action. They were more like what Budgie was to Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin - but Budgie were a great band in their own right, and so were the Attack.
Not making so much as a ripple with four singles on Decca in ’67 and ’68, the Attack nonetheless joined the ranks of the posthumously honored - perhaps too much in their case, actually. The same 15 Attack songs - including the singles and seven tracks unreleased at the time - have been batted around like a volleyball, appearing on no less than five different labels over the past 15 years or so. While none of the reissues were necessarily shoddy, all had noticeable flaws -- be it factually challenged liner notes, sound quality deficiencies, or in the case of the recent Acme CD, the whiff of cheap exploitation.
Clearly the best Attack release, "About Time!" bears no such scent - featuring the legendary 15 tracks, first-rate liners and, above all, four genuine finds not on the other releases. The two previously unreleased BBC performances of “Created By Clive” (one of their more poppy singles) and “Come On Up” (a surging Rascals cover) are worthy additions to the Attack canon, as are a subtly funky original called “Anything” and a surprisingly good version of “Sympathy for the Devil” (both actually by a post-Attack project of vocalist Richard Shirman).
The remaining tracks haven’t lost their luster, either. Caught somewhere between mod pop-art and the burgeoning hard rock sound of Cream and Hendrix, the Attack should have been contenders - as “Any More Than I Do,” “Feel Like Flying,” “Go Your Way” and “Strange House” rank among the best mod rockers of the era. And as evidenced by the sitar-enhanced psych of “Colour of Our Mind,” the darker psych of “Mr. Pinnodmy’s Dilemma” and the melodic “Neville Thumbcatch,” the Attack were versatile as well. It’s also worth noting that the sound on this reissue is a dramatic improvement over others, particularly on “Magic In the Air” -- which has none of the crackling of previous releases to mar this magnificent mod-pop excursion with great guitar by John Cann.
It took half-a-dozen tries, but the Attack have finally been done right. - Doug Sheppard
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