Note: I realize this album is old, and that there's already a great review, but I only recently discovered this kick-ass band, and I feel obligated to express my opinion on the subject matter.
Alexisonfire: Watch Out!
George: Lead Vocals
Rarely does a band come along that completely changes your attitude towards music. Before discovering this band, I had mostly grown uninterested in music. Before I heard of this band, i was a poser, listening to stale Green Day tunes and considering myself rebellious. Then, suddenly and dramatically, everything changed. I saw the video for Accidents on Much Music. At first, I wondered if this was actually considered music. Then I started to check them out. I grew utterly hooked on this band, casting away my roots in punk-pop, and discovering hardcore. Today, I listen to bands like Thrice, Protest The Hero, and more. The band that started this was Alexisonfire. The only freaking band ever.
On with the review.
Track 1 - Accidents (4:09)
The opener track, one that sets the tone for the rest of the album. It starts fast and powerful, getting right into the song quickly. Right away, you can here the difference. The editing has definately improved, and the entire album seems fuller and heavier, compared to the screeching high guitar work of their self titled release. George's screams have also received a makeover. If he was difficult to understand in the last album, he is undecipherable this time through. Some nice gang vocals give the chorus a fuller feel. Overall, a great way to introduce the new style of the album.
Track 2 - Control (3:43)
During the first 30 seconds of this song, you may be temted to belive this is one of Alexis's heavier songs. Don't be fooled. Despite the frighteningly fast opener and the great hardcore riffs, this is actually one of their lighter songs. At 0:29, Dallas pipes in, and George is pretty much gone the rest of the song, except for the chorus. The guitars are made quiter, the drumming is slowed down, and Dallas's hauntingly beautiful voice is left for you to explore. Despite the anger many fans had about this album being too much about Dallas, this song is actually one of the better light songs. The sudden cut of the instruments at 1:39 works perfectly to build tesnsion up to their return at 1:47, and hearing Dallas's vocals without an instrument over them is actually quite refreshing.
Track 3 - It Was Fear Of Myself That Made Me Odd (3:54)
The recurring theme of this song is the environment. But don't expect this to be one of those happy songs about rebuilding. THis song is more about destroying. The song starts off quietly, and when Dallas enters, you can tell that this will be another lighter song. Hearing him sing so calmly about flooding cities and destroying mountains is almost chilling. At 1L20, George finally re-enters, accompanied with some much needed distortion. The song finally beings to pick up, and at 1:32, the song finally reaches the part we've all been waiting for the distorted guitar fest. George's screams perfectly the violent themes of nature, varying from cruiser crashes the pollution. The song ends on a very cool note, with George growling/screaming while the instruments fade away.
Track 4 - Side Walks When She Walks (4:22)
Huh? What? Did I pick up the right album? This is still Alexis, right? Where's the screaming. Answer: There is none. For over 4 minutes, the album has no screams, no growls, no nothing. In the last album, Dallas sort of sat in the background, and in songs like "St. Angeles", he barely was present at all. This is an opportunity for him to show us who he really is. Many hardcore Alexis fan's responded to this song in anger. However, you can't deny that it's a beautiful, emotional ballad. WHile it's not exactly my type of song, I would say it's a great way to show the newfound maturity of the band.
Track 5 - Hey, It's Your Funeral Mama (4:22)
In my opinion, (and in the opinion of many Alexis fans) this is one of the best songs on the album. Sure it's simpler than most (the song mostly consists of power chords), but it still has that hardcore feeling. And it's also fun. This song is very similer to "Waterwings", back on the ST. The song ends with an intro to No Trans. Overall, top notch stuff.
Track 6 - No Transitory (3:16)
This song has become a true fan favorite, reaching "Pulmonary Archery" fame levels. And it's no wonder. This is probably the best song on the album by far. It has a lot less guitar than most of their songs, giving Steele a chance to show off. Dallas truely shines in this song, showing that even slightly lighter songs can be effective. The vocals are bed-wetting good. All the elements of a good song are harnessed effectively. Pimptastic.
Track 7 - Sharks and Danger (4:38)
As the song starts, we get some quiet guitar work while we listen to a call placed to a psychiatric line. The man having the conversation pops in several times during the song. If you go to plyrics.com, you'll find out what he's actually saying. IT's actually moderately disturbing. The song tracks a mental person in their descent to insanity. George doesn't really make an appearence until the decond half of the song. That's when things go to hell. Wade even make a noticable appearance in the song (something he did quite a bit more frequently in the last album). The repeated cry of "Razor wire!" is invigorating, and is a good way to end the song
Track 8 - That Girl Possesed (3:26)
Alexisonfire takes another opportunity to show us how much they've grown up. This song deals with the issue of rape. Fairly fast and dark song. Probably not the best on the album, but not terrible overall.
Track 9 - White Devil (3:34)
This is another serious song, but unlike TGP, this song rocks. As you can probably guess , this song is about drugs. IT's actually a very fun and upbeat song. The sudden quiet and even more sudden cry of "Watch Out!" can be quite startling on your first listen through. George really gets a chance to show off his stuff on this track. Most of the sog is screaming, and the screams starting at 2:22 feel so tortured. YOu can really tell that the band is pouring their heart and soul into this song.
Track 10 - Get Fighted (3:05)
This song serves as a nice break from the serious mood the album has shifted to. This song is about having fun, and is much dancier than their previous songs. This song feels more free than some fo the other songs.
A good break before the finale of the album.
Track 11 - Happiness By THe Kilowatt (5:11)
The final song to this wicked album, and it's a goodie. Topping as the longest song on the album, this songs feels very personal, and is a great emotional finale. Dallas once again steals the show, and George is only present breifly before the end of the song. The lyrics to this song are phenominal. The repeated cries of "Wake up..." are moving and beautiful, and when George and Wade finally re-enter at 4:31, they end the album on a powerful note. Killer track.
Overall mark: 4.5/5
-If you're a Dallas Green fan, you'll probably really like this album.
-Darker, heavier and fuller-sounding that the self titled.
-Great instrumental bits.
-Varying song types provide a song for you, no matter what your mood.
-George and Wade have had their lyrical jobs slightly lessened.
-Less absolutely mind-blowing riffs and more power chords.
RECOMMENDED TRACKS (in order of preferance): No Transitory, Hey It's Your Funeral Mama, Happiness By The Kilowayy, Accidents.
Overall, a great CD for anyone to listen to. I won't get into whether it's better than the Selt Titled, but I will say that these boys from St. Caterines are some of the most talented artists I've ever heard.