Back in the late nineties a handful of bands like Shai Hulud and Poison the Well began blending technical metalcore with more melodic, Midwest-style emo, building a sound that for the time was pretty innovative. After gaining a large amount of popularity, newer bands began emulating this style and making it more and more watered down. These are bands like Poison the Well, From Autumn to Ashes, Thrice and others that have crossed over to major labels and in turn have gained the adoration of those far removed from the hardcore scene. Now the sound that was once innovative has become "the next big thing" and with that tag, is virtually unlistenable in most cases. Alexisonfire is no exception to my stance on this sub-genre.
Aside from the fact that their name is Alexisonfire, which is ridiculous in its own right; they play a pretty safe mix of metalcore, radio rock, and what is commonly referred to as "emo." Sadly, even in that safe blend of genres, Alexisonfire still manages not to do a very good job of it. The singer has a fair screaming voice, but his singing voice (especially on the last track, "Happiness by the Kilowatt") is better; too bad it's often overpowered by excessive and unnecessary screaming. In fact, it's his voice that makes me think of radio rock because it could easily belong to any number of Lost Prophet's or Trapt's.
Incidentally, the only song that really offers up anything sort of worth listening to is the final track on the album, "Happiness by the Kilowatt." Alexisonfire should really be directing their sound in this direction and skip the bad mosh-metal mixed with sing/scream parts, since it's not really working for them. "Happiness" is more or less a heavy, melodic rock song with off time drumming. I have to say that this one song alone is better than the other ten tracks on Watch Out!
Alexisonfire is not breaking any new ground with this new record, nor should they really be turning any heads with this mediocre display of emo-metal. One decent song out of eleven does not make Watch Out! even remotely worth your time or money, but I guess if you are a fan of Alexisonfire already, you can pretty much be suckered into anything.
3.4 / 10
I've always considered Alexisonfire one of the "better bands" in the whole "post-hardcore" scene or whatever you want to call it. However, their last album, Crisis received a lot of ...
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