Release date: July 12, 2011
Record label: Chunksaah Records
Official website: http://www.chunksaah.com/shop/
The buzz: After more than two decades as the lead singer of Jersey punk kings the Bouncing Souls, Greg Attonito is moving into uncharted territory with the release of his first solo album, "Natural Disaster."
The verdict: This modest six track album is sure to throw old school Bouncing Souls fans for a loop. When other punk frontmen have gone acoustic in recent years—think Hot Water Music's Chuck Ragan, Avail's Tim Barry or Million Dead's Frank Turner—they've unplugged while largely maintaining their same level of energy and intensity. Attonito goes for a different approach here, bringing in touches of trumpet, gentle piano and layered harmonies to create a calm, peaceful record—and one that would probably make for some fine hangover listening. "Natural Disaster" recasts Attonito's distinct voice in a Jack Johnson–like surf-pop mold, and the results are surprisingly fitting. On the album's standout closer, "Teardrops," Attonito sings of how "I want to see the colors of my soul, I want to break the boundary of rock ‘n' roll"—and on his debut solo effort, he's quietly done just that.
Did you know? While he has solo material on his mind, Attonito remains committed to the Souls: The band is on tour for a series of shows where it performs all eight of its albums over four nights. Cities set to get the full discography treatment this year include Philadelphia (July 13 to 16), Denver (Nov. 2 to 5) and Los Angeles (Nov. 9 to 12).