ALEXISONFIRE

"Old Crows / Young Cardinals" (Vagrant; 2009)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Canadian punk hardcore band Alexisonfire has grown considerably from their humble screamo upbringing judging by their latest 11-track release "Old Crows / Young Cardinals." Perpetually altering their sound with every release, this album’s switches may prove the most daunting, as the unit’s unique three-tiered vocal delivery has been radically tinkered with, nearly dropping all the squad’s trademark high-pitched wails for a more common yet genuine (and way less grating) earthier punk rasp.

While songs like “No Rest” and “Heading for the Sun” get a discernibly gruffer makeover across the board, Alexisonfire builds intensity with the acumen of a unit who have been around the block a few times with the excellently placed keyboards on “The Northern” delving into considerably more brooding states of mind than previously visited.

Alexisonfire seem to have comfortably outgrown their former selves in some aspects, even going so far as to proclaim the change in song on “Old Crows,” a maneuver that undoubtedly insures losing diehards in droves. But for those who choose to stick around, this Toronto troupe’s escalating sense of self and collected post-punk output reminiscent of bands like Thrice solidifies this disc by celebrating the exploring new avenues without pandering to the pressures of commercial success.

For more information, check out http://www.myspace.com/alexisonfire.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Apr 2017 12:09:59 -0400.