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Music Review: Alexisonfire – Crisis

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Canada’s favorite post hardcore punk rock band Alexisonfire released Crisis last summer. This highly anticipated release topped the Canadian charts with ease. This is their third full length release and the first released by Vagrant Records. The CD went platinum in Canada just two weeks after being released. Winning numerous awards from Juno and Muchmusic also helped fuel their fire. It is no surprise that the CD scaled the charts, the band has charisma that is prized by many fans all over the world.

So is it Alex Is On Fire or Alexis On Fire? The correct answer is Alexis On Fire but it is written Alexisonfire. The band’s name originally used was taken from Alexis Fire, you know, the porn star who could… well never mind. If you really want to know who she is, then I suggest you Google her name and state you are at least eighteen years of age. To get past this point, Ms. Fire threatened the five piece band with a lawsuit so they threw in “on” and Alexisonfire was saved from the villainous porn star.

This was one of the bands that I knew their name, seen their CDs in the stores, but never really pursued getting involved with. I really had no previous experience with them. When I first threw this CD in on my morning drive to work, I was not impressed with it at all. True story though, after listening to Crisis all the way through just one time my opinion changed and I had not taken it out of my CD played for over a week. This CD grew on my like none other. Maybe it is the way the three vocalists make the songs more enjoyable without making the singing confusing or it could be that the guitars and drums just had enough light hardcore punk style that made me want more each time a song finished.

Opening track “Drunks, Lovers, Sinners, and Saints” not only has a title that reminds me of my life growing up, but also was a great introduction to the eleven track disc. The song mixes elements of screamo, punk, and even a little pop punk. This song definitely gets stuck in my head well after I listen to it. Following the first track comes “This Could Be Anywhere In The World” and it too mixes different music genres and produces a great track. So what city do you think they are talking about? I myself have no idea.

Title track “Crisis” is not only the first title track CD ever by Alexisonfire, but also throws in references to the horrible blizzard in the Niagara region in 1977. Not only is the CD covered in pictures from the storm, but also the lyrics “This season’s growing cold and I fear that this could be the end. There’s no sign of hope, we’ve got a crisis on our hands.” pretty much sum up the thoughts of many Canadians and Americans during that cold winter season. Closing track “Rough Hands” is only of my favorites. The slowed down song still incorporates some screaming but also some pleasant singing that is accompanied at the beginning and end with light piano. It was a nice track to close out the CD.

The other tracks on the CD shares the same mixture of punk and post hardcore with extremely catchy lyrics and harmonious styles. If you can accept bands like Taking Back Sunday, Senses Fail, Rise Against, and From Autumn To Ashes, then you really need to check out Alexisonfire. If you have already heard of the band but have not listened to this CD, I really do not think you will be disappointed. There is no crying or whining in any of the high paced songs. I really wish more bands out there on the scene sounded like these guys because there was not one track that even tempted me to hit the next button on my CD player. It is not a shocker at all that Canada loves this band and I will not be taken aback once the rest of the world shines the spotlight on them. They deserve it.

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About Brian McConville