Alexisonfire
Crisis


4.5
superb

Review

by Adam Turner-Heffer USER (38 Reviews)
August 23rd, 2006 | 327 replies | 36,735 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


21 of 21 thought this review was well written

Crisis. It’s a word that enters the minds of most loyal fans when there favourite bands are releasing a new record. Part of the fun of it is the anxious feeling that “what if it’s ***?!” It’s something that plagues the minds of fans up until release date, and people, most of the time, are right to be. But now, as apart of the internet revolution it seems, people are perhaps a little too quick to judge, and that could well be what, sadly, happens here. I’ve already heard fans of Alexis’s previous work saying “ooh they’ve sold out, they’re just commercial punk pop now” etc. But, Alexisonfire are too individual, too honest, too passionate of a band to let any of that be true. In fact, this could potentially be a classic.

The general sound of this album is that it is much more rhythmic than before – they’ve always been technical but now it is in an entirely different way – but it’s no way near as diverse as before. This album follows a far more single path than its predecessors and as a result feels a more complete album. But as this single path is essentially just melodic punk, some may find this hard to get to grips with. One of the main things to notice with this new sound though is that the drumming has been allowed to excel, and my, has it taken that opportunity. Some of Jordan Hastings’s fills and rhythms on this record are just jaw-dropping; this is the backbone of what makes this a really good, rewarding album.

The title track ‘Crisis’ (there’s that word again,) is an excellent example of Alexisonfire’s new style and sound. A fast driving rhythm section, mixed with a looping, tension filled guitar riff, all condensed into the handy size of a 3+ minute pop song that you can fit into your shirt pocket; Alexisonfire have definitely, “Still got it”.

What this album really seems to be all about though is “opposing, battling emotions”, and AOF’s portrayal of this is fascinating. The first half of the album is generally the more upbeat, ‘Boiled Frogs’ for instance with its infectious chorus is a fantastic exponent of this. Where as the second half concern the ‘darker’ feelings, most notably, ‘You Burn First’ which is probably their most brooding song yet, so much in fact that it’s almost mistakable as Alexisonfire. They’ve always had an edgy awareness to their music but it’s usually far more melodic, this however has a stranglehold on the listener and doesn’t let up till it’s over; and is probably the perfect example of how people are going to find it hard to overcome this album’s initial sound. But the wonderful lasting effect this record has is that you could put it on in pretty much any mood and take something enjoyable away from it. It’s great both for its poppy melodies and its dark undercurrents. And as it’s so rewarding, you shouldn’t let its initial sound put you off.

It’s not without its flaws though. Part of this is down to the dealing of vocals. Main vocalist and “screamer” George Pettit’s input seem to have been severed drastically. He’s still there, but not as much or as powerful as before; his vocals actually seem to have gone down in the mix from previous albums. Dallas Green as usual plays an absolute blinder here, his contribution is just fantastic. What is mostly noticeable though is that other guitarist and vocalist Wade MacNeil who almost steals the show here after not really featuring in ‘Watch Out!’ at all. On top of this though, a couple tracks are still a bit average, but at least fit better than some tracks from the previous albums.

But it is still brilliant, just very slow-burning, as all AOF records have been. It’s much more consistent than ‘Watch Out!’ but more mature than the self titled debut. Although I believe this album will split its audience, it seems they must be doing something right, because I feel like I should be disappointed with this record. Considering how “watered-down” this has been accused of, I feel I should hate it. But because of Alexisonfire’s individuality and genuine passion for what they do, this remains a fine record, and perhaps one that is needed right now. AOF have taken a massive risk here, they could potentially lose a lot of old fans but at the same time will gain a lot of new ones.

Once again this nerdy, fun loving yet emotional Canadian quintet have blown away any presumptions you could ever have, and it sounds like they are building up to something even bigger and better. For now though, crisis averted.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Full Collapse299
August 23rd 2006



507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The screaming got better in my opinion. You can understand what he's saying. But I do agree I think he needs more screaming parts in the songs. I didn't think it was possible for Dallas to get better. Boy was I wrong. I love this album. Not sure of a rating yet. Good Review.

spoon_of_grimbo
August 23rd 2006



2240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great review, and i agree with your rating, although i disagree with a few points. first of all, the first half of the album is hardly upbeat, mainly due to "this could be anywhere in the world" which, while brilliant, is depressing.

also, your point about the vocals was a off. their self titled was mostly screaming from george, the odd sung line from dallas, and next to nothing from wade. "watch out!" was mostly singing from dallas, the odd screamed line from george, and a few bits from wade here and there. this time, i think it's been almost split exactly three ways, and it works great!

easily their best record yet IMO.

spoon_of_grimbo
August 23rd 2006



2240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

also, part of the reason why "you burn first" is almost unmistakable as AOF, is because its sung by the bloke from Planes Mistaken For Stars.

Full Collapse299
August 23rd 2006



507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

easily their best record yet IMO.

123

purplefeet
August 23rd 2006



6 Comments


I just finsihed listening to a couple songs of this album. Its alright, I just dont find it as powerful as their other albums.

I personally find the lyrical content to be laggin..and the patterns sound a bit off at some points.

Its not something I am going to go out and buy

Great review, though. Very well written.

scallahan06
August 23rd 2006



124 Comments


much darker and more serious than the other records. best one yet in my opinionThis Message Edited On 08.23.06

spoon_of_grimbo
August 23rd 2006



2240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

have they got a new drummer? i never saw it mentioned in any news recently, but it says "jordan hastings" in the liner notes, but in watch out it was "jesse"

was jesse his nickname, or is jordan a new drummer?


delder1989
August 23rd 2006



44 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, Jordan is the new drummer, nicknamed "Ratbeard." But yeah, I rather enjoy this album, but I'll have to give it a few more listens before I give it a rating.

Tyler
Emeritus
August 23rd 2006



7924 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's a great album, I love that they downplayed Dallas, because he has an awful voice.

Justanothernimrod
August 23rd 2006



478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah, I knew about Planes Mistaken For Stars vocalist doing that track. I was a bit distracted when I wrote it. Also grimbo, I said "Generally more" upbeat, not "totally". 'This Could Be Anywhere...' is indeed the exception to this.

otherwise thanks for all comments!

And everyone just keep listneing to this record, it's seriously grows and grows and grows.

pulseczar
August 23rd 2006



2385 Comments


Their first album was their only good one imo, after that they just lost whatever it was that was interesting about them.
Great review, the only thing I'd suggest is merging that small third paragraph another one, or making it larger.

rapedbymychildhood
August 23rd 2006



1 Comments


well..i use to LOVE alexis...but this album isnt my favourite..i geuss im more into the rraw fast paced ridiculous sound of their self titled..ive been listening to it for 3 years and im still in love with it...but this new stuff.....too much dallas!!!they're going too mainstream..too soft..

SkaSenanake
August 23rd 2006



34 Comments


I am going to have to check out this album. I didn't like the last one so much as the self-titled.

myhatredinside
August 29th 2006



2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I think its a great cd. Before this cd i was really turned off from screaming but sense i started listening to AOF iv really started to accept it and enjoy it a bit more. the main reason i like alexis is mainly because of Dallas. I listend to City and Colour first so i enjoy his signing alot.

I would have to say the 3 best songs on this album are " this could be anywhere in the world" "boiled frogs" and at the top "Rough Hands".

Justanothernimrod
August 29th 2006



478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

awesome, thats good to hear that an album like this can have a positive effect like that!

chiodos10
August 29th 2006



4 Comments


this cd is soo amazing what that guy said is right it does grow and grow on you ahhh it s amazing and that kid who said he thinks dallas green is and awful vocalist needs to die dallas is probably the best vocalist next to craig ownes

stinkypoptart
August 30th 2006



1169 Comments


i kind of like the single. im not really a fan at all though (the single being the only song i remotly like). the drums on the single are really good.

livinginafantasy
August 31st 2006



35 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's not a great album,
a couple of new sounding tracks that work well.
but nothing really spectacular.

StealThisAlbumof2112
August 31st 2006



26 Comments


Never a fan of these guys
But I think I'll check it out

Siberian Khatru
August 31st 2006



55 Comments


I found this album amazing. The rhythm is better, Wade's singing adds a whole new dimension, and the songs are better written without compromising their intensity or energy. I like the concept allot more then Watch Out’s, I find it more mature and less clichéd. When all three vocalists work together, nothing can stop Alexisonfire.



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