Alexisonfire
Otherness


4.4
superb

Review

by Rowan5215 STAFF
June 28th, 2022 | 349 replies


Release Date: 06/24/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: don't keep pushing familiar drugs

What a strange, winding road back to greatness Alexisonfire took. The seemingly unstoppable juggernaut of top-tier post-hardcore derailed themselves, following Crisis with the uninspired, half-hearted snooze Old Crows / Young Cardinals. The boys quickly course corrected with the truly insane Nick Cave-meets-blues-rock-inspired Dogs Blood, then left the scene hanging for nearly a decade on an underwhelming acoustic EP. The pulse quickening news of their reunion was dulled by two deeply okay singles "Familiar Drugs" and "Complicit", only for the stunning "Season of the Flood" to finally perfect the alchemical mixture that makes Alexisonfire one of a kind.

In many ways that song's ambient slowburn feels like a template for Otherness, an album which takes the strange combination of blues and gospel the band found on Dogs Blood and "The Northern" and seasons it with a dash of throwback stoner rock. It's a fascinating and unexpected choice, one where the influence of Wade MacNeil's Dooms Children is clearly felt, and which sees George Pettit's phlegmatic scream take more of a backseat behind Dallas Green's masterful voice, which defying all odds just gets better with every passing year. It's clear that Otherness was made on the band's own time and dime, with no pressure from a label or any outside force. There's just a camaraderie and chemistry that was missing on Old Crows / Young Cardinals and to an extent the largely Dallas-less Dogs Blood, one that sounds like a veteran band falling in love with playing music and being friends again.

This newfound comfort outside the comfort zone yields some truly spectacular results in the album's staggering midsection. "Blue Spade" is the most obvious group effort on the album, complete with a killer set of lyrics by Chris Steele, making his writing debut. "Dark Night of the Soul", perhaps the closest we'll get to the sound of Dogs Blood mixed with Dallas' influence, boasts a dreamy psychedelic bridge which could be inserted into the new Porcupine Tree album with little alteration. And the gorgeous ambient-leaning "Mistaken Information" is a duet between Dallas and George, both on clean vocals, which boasts a phenomenal sense of harmony between these two longtime co-vocalists who have never mixed their voices in quite this way before.

Even when the album leans towards either extreme of the band's sound, the results land. Between the City and Colour-feeling "Sans Soleil" (ironically credited entirely to Wade) and the throwback Crisis sound of "Conditional Love" and "Reverse the Curse", the band cover all the major landmarks of their sound without ever feeling obligatory. The only moment on Otherness in which its haunting-slash-comforting atmosphere is shattered is the baffling "Survivor's Guilt", a rare misstep boasting an introduction that seems expressly designed to undermine the lingering beauty of "Mistaken Information". Even this, to an extent feels purposeful, as does the album's lo-fi, garagey production, which can frequently run the gamut between frustrating and fitting. Otherness is not the Alexisonfire we grew up with and loved, which is for the best given the results when they tried to force their music into that formula. But that same band, weathered by love, loss and experience, finding their way back to one another with the benefit of all the changes they'd undergone? That might sound something like this.



Recent reviews by this author
Anthony Green Boom. Done....And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead XI: Bleed Here Now
Lupe Fiasco Drill Music in ZionCave In Heavy Pendulum
Sharon Van Etten We’ve Been Going About This All WrongFontaines D.C. Skinty Fia
user ratings (233)
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
vult (4)
Times change and people change with them....

Manatea (4)
The best kind of reintroduction....



Comments:Add a Comment 
Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2022


46698 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

this is good, actually

Digging: ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - XI: Bleed Here Now

SteakByrnes
June 28th 2022


27370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hell yes row great review, album rules !

Digging: Chat Pile - God's Country

vult
June 28th 2022


936 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice! Yeah I’m enjoying this a lot, but can see why it’s not some people’s thing. Was wondering when a staff review would pop up!

onionbubs
June 28th 2022


16065 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hell yes was hoping youd cover it and you absolutely did it justice. tremendous read and sums up pretty much exactly how i feel about it. albums a beaut



particularly agree on the start of survivors guilt being jarring as hell following that mid section. been thinkin all week as to where im gonna sequence season in and that spot is a definite contender just to help ease that transition a bit

Skoj
June 28th 2022


1885 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so fucking stoked to see them live again. Album definitely occupies its own niche sound in their catalog.

vult
June 28th 2022


936 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I’m pumped to see them in NYC next month. The venue is super dope too: https://media.timeout.com/images/105887491/750/422/image.jpg

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2022


46698 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

Season of the Flood really feels like an opener to me and this has a baller opener as is



song's so good though would be awesome to hear it on an EP



also yea this took a few days, album is a lot to digest

onionbubs
June 28th 2022


16065 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ya the opening slot is the other place ive been jamming it and it loops from the closer tremendously but i love how committed kicks this off

furpa
June 28th 2022


611 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Awesome review! I do agree about the intro to Survivor's Guilt being a bit much after Mistaken Information but that doesn't stop me from wholeheartedly believing Survivor's Guilt is the best track on here. Everything about that tune ticks all the boxes for me lol.

JayEnder
June 28th 2022


15189 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

CONCEIVED IN THE DARKNESS OF THE DEEP



of the deep



of the deep

Digging: Chat Pile - God's Country

MCJACKDAHL
June 28th 2022


178 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

thrilled by the love this is getting on here

Digging: Prize Horse - Welder

Asura14
June 28th 2022


477 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I adored Season of the Flood so I'm really looking forward to this

Digging: Ithaca - They Fear Us

JayEnder
June 28th 2022


15189 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is awesome. Doesn't stack up to their old stuff but its a million times better than OC / YC.

vult
June 28th 2022


936 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

George on Conditional Love is unhinged. I actually love that track and all it’s cheese.

Spec
June 28th 2022


36434 Comments


Wasn’t planning on checking this out as I didn’t like the Familiar Drugs singles but you guys sold me. Sounds good so far.

Mesm277
June 28th 2022


1082 Comments


Dallas sounds great on this

gravityswitch
June 28th 2022


1118 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

a 4 fucking 4? Let's gooooooo will listen to it tomorrow

Voltimand
June 28th 2022


1516 Comments


^^^

Digging: Sweet Pill - Where the Heart Is

Cormano
June 28th 2022


3598 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

deluxe version will be called Epicness

nash1311
June 28th 2022


4453 Comments


This art is so hideous though. Even if it smacks I cannot 4 it

Digging: Bill Evans - You Must Believe In Spring



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy