Review Summary: Does nothing new for the genre, but Asking Alexandria has created a debut worth the listen.
Recently, there's been a lot of attention put towards bands from the UK. One of the most popular is Bring Me the Horizon, who has an amazingly large fan base here in the US. Why? I'm not exactly sure, but now we have Asking Alexandria, a 5 piece post-hardcore band from York, England. Gaining most of their popularity after the release of their album debut "Stand Up and Scream", Asking Alexandria (AA) is a fine example of fast paced, well tuned metalcore. Now touring in the US with The Bled, Alesana, Madina Lake and another UK band Enter Shikari, their gaining respect quickly in America, but how does their album hold up in the swarm of other metalcore bands?
After the release of their EP "The Irony of Your Perfection", the band went through some drastic line up changes and decided to hit the studio for their album debut. To be perfectly honest, I really love this album. "Stand Up and Scream" doesnt do anything different for the genre, there's singing and screaming, breakdowns and plenty of savage lyrics, but there is just something about how it's all put together that makes me really dig most of the songs. 'Alerion' is the opening track, it features a storm with some talking and yelling in the background, following that is a series of breakdowns. Opening with this song live, the crowd went crazy and of course, the pit loved every second of it. The band made a good choice with opening the album this way, it's fast and follows into the rest of the songs nicely.
"The Final Episode (Lets Change the Channel)" is the second song off the album. Opening with our lead vocalist screaming "OH MY GOD", the song has a nice start. Very quickly though this song sinks into repetitiveness and he continuously screams "OH MY GOD" before jumping into the chorus. Singer/screamer Danny Worsnop doesnt stand out at all from other genre vocalist, he can scream high and low, has an alright singing voice, but it all fits the sound. There's a few breakdowns through the song, but this is my least favorite track off the album. "A Candlelit Dinner With Immorta" starts off with Danny's low growls, but then jumps into his singing, which sounds pretty good in this song. The British accent he has is difficult to understand in parts, but it still sounds good. This is one of those songs the band 're-did' for this release, and there's no real difference between this version and the original.
"Hey There Mr Brooks" is one of the 2 songs released before the album, mainly because sepcial guest vocalist Shawn Milke of Alesana sings the chorus for the song. It's an alright song, Shawn sounds great and it's cool they were able to get him to do both choruses for the song, but mainly the drumming and guitar work is the same as every song on the album. The highlight of this song is in the center, a breakdown in which Danny growls, "Oh the bullets gone, I take this spade I slit your throat" which leads into an amazing breakdown. "A Single Moment of Sincerity" is one of the first songs I've ever heard from the band, which features the classic line of "Get on your knees" which is printed on 2 t-shirts that they have released. Easily, this is the best track on the album, it's well put together and just a brutal, fast track.
"A Prophecy" is another one of those songs released before the album, and at first I really didnt like the song, it just sounded so different from the rest of the tracks. It's got a nice spot on the album though, and it's actually a fine song. It's not perfect, some parts couldve been done better but overall it's placed in a good spot and keeps the pace going well. Following this song is "I Was Once Possible Maybe Perhaps A Cowboy King", which is the most popular Asking Alexandria song out to date. It opens with a bass drop breakdown, and keeps the breakdowns coming all the way through. The chorus is even better though, just the way it's played makes it worth listening to. Ending the album is "When Everydays the Weekend", which is set up to be a party song. Towards the end we get a chant that says "I like to party, you like to party, we like to party, all night long" which is meant to make the end of the album completely fun and crazy as possible. It's a great song to end the album, no complaints there.
Asking Alexandria is doing absoulutely nothing new for the post-hardcore genre, but they have released a well put together debut album. It's got breakdowns, catchy choruses and most of all doesnt bore to bad. They're a band worth checking out, I really cant wait to see what they're going to do in the future.