Review Summary: Maybe not something new, but definable a tight and more importantly, fun release from a solid band.1
I first heard of Asking Alexandria, from a side link on YouTube from another band, about a year ago. It led me to their video for The Final Episode (Let's Change The Channel), and first, I found it catchy, I dug the first intro hooks and the clean chorus, and downloaded their album, but didn't really listen to it. Fast forward to about 3 months ago, and a friend got me listening again, and here's my review for Danny and the boys first album.
1. Alerion: The stereotypical dramatic sounding intro song. it features what sounds like a girl answering a phone to no one on the other line, and drags out a tad, but the synth and the editing are top notch. The sound gets chopped up with static and it sounds great. The guitars and bass are next to join the mix, and sound crystal clear and spot on. The drumming is nothing crazy but its perfectly in time and sounds great. Danny's screaming sounds awesome and although short, and repeated, the lyrics (Karma's a bitch right?) fit the song. 3/5
2. The Final Episode (Let's Change The Channel): The first single and music video, and the first song I heard. This song drops right into it, the drums are insane right of the bat, and the guitars chug right on time. its not to technical, but the pacing is what makes this band. Danny's " Oh my god!"'s drop in perfect and sound right on. the verses are screamed with a simple, but fast and toned guitar work that both guitars follow and the bass runs along to. The drumming keeps everything together throughout. The clean chorus is the first taste we get of Dannys singing voice, and although heavily edited in places, it has a good sincere sound. A well put together breakdown follows, then a quiet synth part, that somehow fits in with the rest of the song. Danny's " you need a doctor baby"'s slowly build in volume til the final chords are wrung. 5/5
3. A Candlelit Dinner With Inamorata: This song starts off fast and doesn't let up for a long time. Some more intricate guitar work is heard on the verse and the screaming gets a little heavier then before. The guitar work slows down a bit in the faux-breakdown, but the drums don't let up and keep the pacing. About halfway through the song though, The dancey synth tune starts up and drags the song on a bit. The guitars fall back in for the final breakdown after, and make up for it. The Clean chorus has the same idea as the last song, but still catchty as hell. Very strong follow up to The Final Episode. 4/5
4. Nobody Don't Dance No More: A bread and butter AA song. The Gurgly scream of "I'm Alive" sounds great, but the drumming is down from the last song (but still above par) the lyrics are fairly simple, and the guitar work is chug-a-lug and breakdown ridden. What makes this song catchy is the little guitar riffs between the transitions. and the clean lyrics sound clearer then the edited choruses on the last two songs. The breakdowns don't get repetitive, but drag on a little bit. Solid song all in all. 3/5
5. Hey There Mr. Brooks: Holy S**t does this start out heavy. Danny screams the whole song, and the guitars chug like crazy, but are nicely offset by and off time drum work. They switch from palm mutes to letting the chords wring out, and the whole verse sounds like a breakdown having a seizure. Shawn Milke ( a la Alesana) sings the cleans in chorus and sounds great. His voice is higher than Dannys and fits into the song perfectly. This song pounds along with a good pace, but you find yourself waiting for Shawns cleans over the screaming. A slower part in the middle and the synth pops in and out but not as flashy as before, before building up to a very well done breakdown. The end of the song gets a little weird, with some chopped up screaming, that drags out a bit too long to be interesting. 4/5
6. Hiatus: An interlude song, all synth and poppy. Very well edited, catchy and doesn't overstay its welcome. 4/5
7. If You Can't Ride To Horses At Once, You Should Get Out Of The Circus: This song is another single, and it's easier to see why, It starts off with some orchestral sounding tremolo picking, against a mine breakdown chug. Dannys screams sound above par as always and fits the pacing. Then the guitars get a little showcasing with just them picking a catchy as hell riff, with the drum and bass joining in the middle of it. A nice transition into a slower clean part, where Dannys cleans get layered, then another transition into a breakdown, that's a little slower then the others, and Dannys screams sound lower and growly-er. Another clean part, followed by a chanting outro that fades nicely. 5/5
8 A single Moment Of Sincerity: Another cookie cutter AA song. Breakdowns, synth dance beats and lots of screaming. The "Get on your knees" sounds great right before a breakdown into, the chug fest of the song, with lots of distorted squealing notes. The chorus is where this song shines. Danny's cleans sound great above the 4 chord themed guitars. A soft interlude leads to the final outgoing breakdown. Still a great song 3/4
9. Not The American Average: Finally, AA decides to focus on the cleans. To make up for the lack of focus on screams, they make up for it with the insanely sexual lyrics about having sex with a girl you don't even know the name of. This song features Dannys best clean vocal work, and the most challenging guitar riffage yet. The whole song is catchy as hell, and it plays like a good old rock song, till the clashing clattering breakdown. Things get hectic, and the screams pick up until: everything, drops, the synth kicks, and we get to hear the guitarist Ben Bruces soothing voice singing the interlude. Those 4 lines are probably my favorite part of the whole album. Another clattering breakdown and the song ends right in the middle of the chaos. 5/5
10. I Used To Have A Best Friend (But Then He Gave Me An STD): one of the more underrated songs on the album. If they had made a video for this song, it would have gotten huge, The guitars chug right on time, the drumming is perfect, screaming right on par. and the pacing and transitions between screams and cleans is very well done. 4/5
11. A Prophecy: The final single off the record, and in my opinion the best. This is Asking Alexandria and their very best. from the on time - off beat breakdowns, soaring chorus, and synthy interludes. This song is great. 5/5
12. I Was Once, Possibly, Maybe, Perhaps a Cowboy King: Another okay song, Breakdown ridden, but well put together. nothing to much special. Danny scream/talks an intro, then continues with throaty screaming and flawless intermingles his cleans. Nice breakdowns, and chugging interludes. The harmonic transitions sounds especially good. 4/5
13. When Everyday's The Weekend: The final song on the album, and unfortunately the most boring. It's a fun party scream anthem, but falls a little short. It has nothing to say for it, other than being up to par for Asking Alexandria's strong points, and highlighting their weaker points. A little underwhelming closer for the album. 3/5.