Funeral For A Friend
A Static Lullaby
3.It Was Fear of Myself That Made Me Odd
4.Side Walk When She Walks
5.“Hey, It’s Your Funeral Mama”
7.Sharks and Danger
8.That Girl Possessed
11.Happiness By The Kilowatt
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I’m just going to get straight down to business. No funny intro or anything, just a serious review. Seriously.
‘Watch Out!’ is Alexisonfire’s second full-length album, the first of which was a well-received self-titled affair. I’m not sure how this album will be received, however, due to the fact that the group has toned things down a bit. No longer are we hit with wave after wave of screamo rants. Instead, the group has decided to infuse into their songs more of a melodic approach. Granted, there are still moments of screaming chaos, but these are few and far between.
As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, the vocals have changed a bit. Seeing as how many people loved Alexisonfire’s self-titled album because of the vocals, I think they deserve some discussion. I’m not really sure why this change took place, and I’m not really sure if I like it or not. On the one hand, this guy has a great singing voice, so it’s not like they ruined the band or anything. However, when you look at the kind of band Alexisonfire is, I don’t believe the melodic vocals fit in very well. Sure, there are a lot of bands these days using the whole scream/sing back and forth technique, but with this record, the difference between the two types of vocals is huge. Therefore, it just doesn’t feel natural. I wish they would’ve just picked one or the other and stuck with it.
Speaking of change, what happened to the lyrics? One thing I loved about Alexisonfire’s self-titled album was the lyrics: they were so extremely witty and creative that I couldn’t help but have a smile on my face as I read them. This time around, however, this wittiness is nearly non-existent. In its place we have average stuff about being depressed, and even then it’s not creative or funny in any way! There are a couple songs where the lyrics are witty, but these are merely a shadow of what once was.
The music itself is still great, like it’s always been. Come to think of it, the music hasn’t really changed all that much from their last album, so I can’t understand why the vocals changed without the music going along with it. Oh well. I really think the musical aspect of this record is the only thing keeping me from throwing out as just another average sophomore effort. The guitars are wonderfully done, and they do a great job of making this record much more atmospheric and eerie than their last. The drums and bass, however, are still average in my mind. They’re not bad; they just don’t stand out at all.
I know it seems like I’m bashing this record, but I’m not. If I’m bashing anything, it’s the band for not making up their mind with the vocals. The music is great, but the vocals just don’t fit in for the most part. There are a few standout tracks however, including ‘Side Walk When She Walks,’ ‘Sharks and Danger,’ ‘Hey, It’s Your Funeral Mama,’ and ‘White Devil’ (which sounds an awful lot like a new age straight-edge anthem of sorts). So in the end, this isn’t a bad album by any means. I think it just finds the band at a time when they’re not too sure of what to do with themselves. I certainly hope this is just a transition period for the band, because if they just stick to the screamo days of old or travel ahead into all out melody, either way I’ll probably love it. Just don’t mix the two very often and it’s all good. So overall, this is a good album, but far from a great one.