Buzzed Bands Podcast, Ep. 2 w/ Cold Blood Club

Monday, August 14, 2006

Crisis By Alexisonfire (Album Review)

We really don't have many album reviews on BSC but I felt compelled this time. I recently got my hands on the new Alexisonfire album, Crisis (due out Aug. 22nd). Alexisonfire has been my favorite band since I first heard them about three years ago. That said, I listened to it as soon as I could.

Since that time I have listened to Crisis damn near 50 times, possibly more then that. The first time I heard the album I have to say I was disappointed. It seemed a bit half assed at first, especially after their previous effort Watch Out!, which was damn near flawless. After about three spins though I started to realize that this album is brilliant. In no way is it half assed at all, it just took me a while to realize their approach.

Instead of giving you an album review I'm going to review each track separately. I figure this gives you a better idea of what you should be downloading.

1. Drunks, Lovers, Sinners, and Saints: This is a horrible song to start the album with and was partially responsible for my "half assed" remark. The song is good but the lyrics seem a bit tired - "Won't ever change. Not a Jaded hair upon my head". I've heard it before kids. The music is good but a bit on the generic side, which is very rare for this band.

2. This Could Be Anywhere In The World: This song gave me hope that this album wasn't going to suck. This is text book Alexisonfire and I fucking love it - this track could easily be on Watch Out. It's no surprise that this song was chosen as the lead single. This track lets Dallas show just how amazing his voice is. The various different things going on musically are what make Alexisonfire better then all of their peers - if they really have peers.

3. Mailbox Arson: This track is decent but far from filler. The guitar riff and drums are a bit weak by Alexis standards. Towards the end it mellows out a bit and Dallas shows off that voice again.

4. Boiled Frogs: This song was released early on MySpace. It's a great song in that it's super catchy but doesn't sound corny. I remember when I first heard this on MySpace it made me very excited to hear this album. Once again this sounds like Watch Out material.

5. We Are The Sound: One of my top 4 tracks on this album. The interaction between the screamed vocals and singing is some of the best I've heard since Nothingface. The chorus is extremely powerful and hits you like a brick wall. This is a great song and clearly shows that Alexisonfire is trying something new without abandoning their old sound.

6. You Burn First: My first thoughts when I heard this, "What the fuck is this?". This track sounds absolutely nothing like Alexisonfire in any way. It sounds like NIN mixed with a slow Pantera song and maybe some Deftones. I HATED this track at first - not because it was bad but because it wasn't Alexisonfire. After about 10 listens I realized that it's really good and that I'm an asshole. This band is about my age and back in 96 this is exactly what I/we would have been listening to. I think it's an homage to that - or I'm over thinking it.

7. We Are The End: This is constructed in a similar manner as Sound - no shit. Anyway, this is a much better song overall. The chorus is great and one of my favorite parts of the whole album. Again there are amazing dual vocals with the screaming/singing combo. This song is stuck in my head 24/7 (even when I fucking sleep)...and I still love it.

8. Crisis: Not one of my favorites. The riff is a bit generic and the screaming seems out of place at times. This is clearly one of weak points of the album. That said Dallas does do some singing and it's great as always. His voice can save just about any song.

9. Keep It On Wax: I love the opening to this song - not as abrupt as some of the other tracks. However overall I don't love this song mostly because of the singing. I think the bass player is singing lead on this track. He isn't horrible but for a brief moment in the chorus Dallas comes in and it's blatantly clear that he should be singing lead on this. The dude singing kinda sounds like one of those pop punk kids with the fake angry voices. It's still a damn good song and I have a feeling this could be a hit. It could be SO much better though and that bothers me.

10. To A Friend: As far as the melodic shit goes this is hands down the best song on the album. Overall though this is good but not great. Honestly I can't figure out what it needs but something is missing. If you want to hear beautiful singing listen to this song because it doesn't get much better.

11. Rough Hands: Arguably the best song on the album. Very slow, very moody, very fucking good. This song is great because it has elements of every Alexisonfire album. This song would work equally well on any of the three albums. I love the guitar playing - slow and moody but powerful. The lead riff during the verse is awesome as is the rhythm guitar during the chorus. The piano fits in perfectly and adds to the dark vibe of the song. Like "To A Friend" there are some beautiful vocal melodies and like "We Are The End" we have simultaneous singing and screaming although not as prominent. It has been referred to at work as a "hardcore ballad", which seems about right.

Overall this is a brilliant album that I highly recommend. In my opinion this is and will be my album of the year. That said keep in mind that this is my favorite band so I might be biased. Go listen to some of the tracks on the ecard.

This Could Be Anywhere In The World

Alexisonfire Homepage

**Update: MP3 - Boiled Frogs (via: Alexisonfire Counterpart)


Anonymous said...

i've been reading the site for a while because its possibly the only one i have found that talks about hardcore, and its based out of nyc, like myself. finally decided to leave a little love.

I dig your take on the new aof, personally, i feel like its the best of the 3, if only because the first is too raw in terms of production.

they are playing on october 11th in hackensack, nj with moneen and the cancer bats (who you should check out if a punk/southern rock mix sounds interesting)

i have seen them live at least 10 times(ever since their first us tour, with remembering never, of all bands, in march 2003)...and they are def worth seeing if you haven't gotten a chance yet.

Anonymous said...

ARE YOU FUCKING RETARDED? how can you even put this on here? Theres nothing too critical about AOF, they are an amazing band from one of the shittest parts of Canada. Dig your Roots!

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