Poor old Alex, this’ll be the third album from this bunch of Canadian emo types, and still the poor fellow is on fire. Yes, yes, alright, we know it’s Alexis on fire, but if you will play the emo-band by numbers game and remove all the spaces from between the words in your name then you deserve everything you get.
The name might be a little tiresome, but at least the noise this lot create isn’t entirely generic, although a cursory listen might tell you otherwise. There’s the familiar clash of the dual vocals, part screamo, and part pop melody chanting in evidence, as well as an endless squall of pepped up guitars, which feature heavily in these days of post hardcore and emo. But, to be fair Alexisonfire have enough fire in their bellies to make these songs rise above the often stale turnouts of so many other wannabes with guitars, tattoos and a slightly dour demeanour.
Drunks, Lovers Sinners and Saints which opens up the album sets their stall out early. It leaps out of the traps like a crazy eyed, steroid infused greyhound desperate to tear that fucking stuffed bunny a brand new carrot hole. They almost blow their entire wad early, seemingly dispensing with all their tricks in the first few minutes. As frantic drumming mixes up with tortured vocals and clever pounding yet melodic riffs, you just hope that they have the legs to keep this pace up for the whole album. Fortunately Alexisonfire have songs a plenty. The chorus for forthcoming single This Could be Anywhere in the World is likely to rattle around in your head for days after exposure to it.
Indeed, an ear for a chorus and a willingness to shove terrace chants into these bursts of controlled aggression is probably what sets Alexisonfire apart from their contemporaries. “We are the sound, we don’t belong”, is the anthemic call to arms on the appropriately named We Are The Sound. The cynic might well point out that outsider anthems obviously meant to resonate with hundred of thousands of individuals who also don’t belong, and who all dress in a manner that not only reeks of Patchouli oil, but conformity, is something of a joke. Which may well be true enough, but cynics are destined to be miserable at gigs. This is real fists in the air stuff. In fact if your arms aren’t tired by the end of this album from constantly feeling the need to hold those hands aloft, then you have no soul (or you’re a little bit older than 18).
Make no mistake, Alexisonfire are aware that they’re preaching to the converted, but for those people, every song on Crisis hits the mark.