Dog's Blood review by Alexisonfire

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  • Released: Oct 31, 2010
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 6
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 7.7 (31 votes)
Alexisonfire: Dog's Blood

Sound — 8
(NOTE: If you actually just want to know what the songs sound like.. skip to the bottom. This stuff is all Old Alexis vs. New Alexis.) Bit surprised not to see a review for this up yet, so I thought I'd have a stab at it. The Dog's Blood EP has been on the cards for quite a while now. They announced it back in '09, so a year later it has come out. Quite an interesting little number as well. We're all familiar with Alexisonfire (and for those of you who are not, go listen to some of their full-length albums; I'd personally recommend Watch Out! first) and I imagine most have heard their most recent, more hardcore, punkier style with "Old Crows, Young Cardinals". Now, some people especially didn't like the new direction of George's vocals, well all I've got to say is that, while yes he does still keep the new shouty stuff, he seems to be tinging it with a bit more of that classic Pettit scream. (And there are a few outright... "He's still got it!" screams. =]) The guitars maintain that crunchy punky sound from the last record, but at times they have the classic Alexis-style floating guitar that somehow drifts and wails at the same time. Especially noticeable on Grey. Chris Steele as ever holds down the bass-end of the band, no surprises (except for his filthy tone), but consistently good. The drumming from Hastings is as ever top-quality. I know there's always a perpetual debate of Ratbeard vs. Jesse, so I'm afraid for you Jesse fans, Ratbeard is just doing his thing on this record, which I personally love. Now, I'll be honest, Dallas doesn't make much of an appearance in this EP. What vocal work he does though is, as per usual, haunting and slightly arousing. Likewise, Wade takes a bit more of a backseat, which is a shame. The overall sound of this record is frankly a lot heavier and uptempo than previous offerings. In this EP they seem to still be actively pursuing and exploring the hardcore sound they started shifting into with OC/YC, only with some more experimental style breakdowns and riffing. For the sound, I'm gonna give them a eight, because, while it might not be Watch Out! it's a pretty huge and filthy sounding set of songs, which I like. I was kinda hoping for a bit more Dallas, and so for not deploying the D-Bomb, they lose a mark.

Lyrics — 6
My main points of contention are as follows: -Dallas, sadly not particularly present on this record. -Because of the shortage of Dallas, George begins to sound a bit repetitive. -The lyrics aren't as strong as they have been in the past. I'm gonna give them a six, because frankly, although it's pretty good, I know they can do better.

Overall Impression — 7
01. Dog's Blood: A dirty riff that punches into an uptempo, hardcore song. Heavy punk stuff that really thrashes along, showcasing George's new slightly screamier shout (as opposed to Old Crows/Young Cardinals), with some -really- harsh backing vocals. Then about half-way through, we get a gentle respite with Dallas crooning, before George kicks back in, howling, with Dallas wailing alongside and the guitars getting unreasonably huge before it all finishes with a very sticky mess in your underwear. Nice heavy song (amazing live, btw) that has a nice touch of sweetness towards the end. 8/10 02. Grey: Grey kicks straight off with a pretty chunky riff, which provides a nice backing for George to do his (OC/YC-style) shout over, whilst a floating-wailing guitar sounds amazing in the background. The sound contains lyrical similarities to Young Cardinals, which I'm not a fan of. A bit repetitive. 5.5/10 03: Black as Jet: A slightly unusual sounding opening before kicking into another up-tempo, heavy number that could cause serious damage with a pumped crowd. Chris Steele lays down perhaps the filthiest bass I've ever heard (which did leave me nursing a semi). Again, a little repetitive, but for its sheer filthy, dirty loving, I'll give it a 6.5/10. 04. Vex: Frankly, a bit of a gem. No vocals, which some of you may find disheartening. But it's a really epic and huge soundscape, a testimony of how great these guys are together. Very easy to lose yourself in the huge, floaty guitars but they have moments of real energy and up-beat riffing that gives it a good kick up the arse every now and then. It's a bit lengthy, but not so much that it's particularly noticeable. Especially because it builds to a very satisfactory conclusion: 7.5/10 Overall, a seven I think.

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Seven's a fair score I think. I like Vex and Dog's Blood as songs, maybe not so keen on the other two but still enjoy them. I think it's good that they're trying different things, and at least this was only four songs; if they feel it works or doesn't work, it means they can maybe focus on what they would like to do on their next full album a bit more.
    I'm not usually one to say "OMG they sold out and their new stuff sucks" when talking about a band, but in AOF's case it's all I can say.
    OldHairyOne wrote: I'm not usually one to say "OMG they sold out and their new stuff sucks" when talking about a band, but in AOF's case it's all I can say.
    Lies. They're still awesome, just different, they haven't "sold out" at all, what a ridiculous thing to say. Also, have you seen them live recently? They're better than ever! They put on one of the best shows I've ever seen.
    When they said it was going to be experimental, I was not expecting this. It's great to hear them going back to their early sound. Also, can't wait to see them December 17th! Saw them back in March, and it was an amazing show.
    Yeah i also find Dallas quite arousing. Especially on OC/YC and his stuff in City and Colour. Man crush :p
    OldHairyOne wrote: I'm not usually one to say "OMG they sold out and their new stuff sucks" when talking about a band, but in AOF's case it's all I can say.
    Yeah, Im not usually one to say "wow, that was the most retarded ****ing thing anyone could say about this ablum" when reading peoples comments, but in your case, its all I can say. Seriously? I mean...OC/YC threw me for a loop, but dogs blood is so ****ing intense, and heavy, I cant even drive my car straight when Im listening to it. And did they sell out?
    Macabre Lullaby
    OldHairyOne wrote: I'm not usually one to say "OMG they sold out and their new stuff sucks" when talking about a band, but in AOF's case it's all I can say.
    "Okay guys, how can we make even more money?" "How about...we make it so that Dallas only sings in one song on our EP. That way it'll be all screams, and even some old-school George screaming." "Sounds good. Any chill, catchy songs?" "Nah, just dark, heavy stuff. Throw in an instrumental too." "Damn, we'll be swimming in radio play..." Anyway, sarcasm aside, I like this direction for them. It's more hard-hitting than OC/YC, and I think they pull it off well. George's "Nick Cave lyrics" shine through on Grey a lot. I like it. That bass gets a little too dirty for my tastes though.
    Dallas is great and all, but I listen to AOF for screamy fun-ness, if I want ballads I'll listen to City and Colour, or something better...
    Like thwump64 said, it's experimental, they don't care whether or not people like it. I personally love it, not as much as anything from Watchout!, Crisis or OC/YC but it's still solid and I'm stoked to see them play on December 11th. I took lessons where Wade and Dallas took lessons by the way
    I never even knew Alexisonfire had a new release until I saw this. I gave it a listen and found out why I never heard about it. It's not much to talk about.
    In my eyes a great dark sounding record...also some cool prog-rock or doom rock influences?! Just nice! I think they found their lost soul, like they searched for the right calibration - now it's there!
    Grey is actually one of my favorite alexisonfire songs.. Lol. I like the atomspheric sound of it, same with vex. If you listen to older music of this genre you can see where theyre getting influenced on this EP. Not their best effort, but i still love it
    All the stuff I heard from Young Cardinals was certainly more watered down then the near-metalcore levels of their debut. If this EP is more like that I'll check it out.
    The fact that Black as Jet was given a 6.5 makes this review a write-off. That song is one of their all-time best and so is this EP. People who don't like this obviously got into Alexisonfire for the wrong reasons. It's a shame they didn't get a chance to follow this up. The EP has very little Dallas because he had told them he was going to quit after it, so obviously they left him out for the most part. The stuff they were writing after Dog's Blood was supposed to blow it out of the water and I'm 100% sure it would have kicked the snot out of the last two albums. And it would've weeded out the shit fans. Kinda like In Utero.