Showing The Young Cardinals A Thing Or Two
Can it really be almost 8 years since Canada’s Alexisonfire came bursting into our lives? Proving that sometimes good things can be salvaged from the wreckage, Alexisonfire formed in late 2001 as a result of a three-band break up, claiming their name as a kind of homage to an adult entertainer, Alexis Fire. Now four albums down the line, the quintet are back to prove that there is still plenty of fight left in them with their latest release, ‘Old Crows/Young Cardinals’.
Vast and yet intensely intimate, ‘Crows/Young Cardinals’ finds Alexisonfire expertly jumping from the expansive, spine tingling blend of rock that oozes pure, honest emotion to stripped to the bones punk, punching straight to the gut as the bands uncompromised lyrics set out to throw the wrongs of the world brazenly in the faces of all to bare witness to. Bolding declaring “we are not the kids we used to be// stop wishing for yesterday”, ‘Old Crows’ opens the album with a fist pounding statement of intent, energetically releasing a charge of guitars and drums that happily run head first into the combined vocal attack of George Petit, Wade MacNeil and Dallas Green before swiftly making way for the hyper charge of ‘Young Cardinals’, thumping and stamping as it evolves into a vocal soaring chorus for all to embrace. From here ‘Old Crows/Young Cardinals' manages to expertly slot gritty doses of punk amongst the sky reaching rock likes of ‘The Northern’ and heart felt ‘Burial’. ‘Sons Of Privilege’ sets out like a juggernaut, feverishly running by in a delightful blur that demands the play button is continually hit, a demand that is met once again on the infectious eruption of ‘Emerald Street’ whose chugging guitars unleash a barrage of contagious hooks and sing out loud choruses that is matched only by the chant inducing riot of ‘Accept Crime’ as Alexisonfire impart their views through fun filled, grit packed punk that can not be ignored.
Boldly bridging the gulf between punk, screamo and good old fashioned rock, Alexisonfire’s ‘Old Crows/Young Cardinals’ is an album that truly captures a band at their very best. Nestled within every track is something for everyone whether it be the heartfelt emotion that calls to the emo kids, the reckless energy that grabs the attention of the punks or the soaring vocals and intricate guitar work that appeals to the rock fan in us all, ‘Old Crows/Young Cardinals’ has it all and whilst Alexionfire may not be the kids they used to be, they’re certainly still able to show the young cardinals a thing or two.