Mental health is more important of as subject as ever right now, especially in the rock and metal world and, when Shinedown released Attention Attention in 2018, they put themselves onto the forefront of mental health in rock and roll.
Fast forward to 2021 and they’ve kept their word and released a full-length film inspired by the music of the record. Shortly after releasing the album three years ago, the band began discussing during interviews that they wanted to release a movie in conjunction with the record. While many bands have said the same, few followed through- Shinedown did it.
At just over an hour in length, the Attention Attention movie follows the record from open to close, with each song’s music video telling its own story about different sides and elements of mental health. Each video’s protagonist battles their own personal demons- grief, loss, depression, suicide, being comfortable in your own skin, despising who you’re becoming and much more are focal points and Shinedown hold nothing back.
Before and after each video, frontman Brent Smith narrates, giving deep, memorable quotes that inspire and challenge simultaneously. It will always hurt, it will always sting. It wall always bruise your heart, your mind, your soul. But that’s why we’re all here,” echoes Smith. “You can’t go back, you can’t rewind. It just is; there is no escaping it.” “It’s not outside- it’s inside. It will keep pushing you until everything around you completely collapses.” Smith and the band know exactly what’s in your head and emotions and they’re determined to remind you that you can get through it.
Many of the videos contrast each other while back-to-back. “Devil” and “Black Soul” feature videos that are complete opposites- the first being dark while the latter is bright yet features a dark subject matter.
Each video shows its character going on their own journey and telling their story flawlessly. While the subject isn’t an easy one and is a painfully sensitive one- especially when bassist Eric Bass openly struggles with his own mental health issues, this was the perfect way to wrap up an album cycle and campaign.
Attention Attention- the album- is a sonic love letter to mental health; Attention Attention– the movie- is a romantic tribute to it and is a reminder from Shinedown that no matter what you’re going through, no matter what your battle is, it ends, it stops and, more importantly, it always gets better. The final scenes of the movie show this- with each character rising from their own ashes and marching down the street on a beautiful day to the album closer- “Brilliant.”