We have yet to see any new music from Alexisonfire in over a year, which is to be expected since the band usually releases albums every two years since their sophomore release Watch Out! and were on time with their release of Old Crows/Young Cardinals back in June of 2009. Those who are not used to AOF’s album release tendencies, and even some of those who are, are always getting restless for new material during the latter part of our wait. It would seem that AOF has heard our cries and planned the release of the Dog’s Blood EP a good while ago. AOF has been planting seeds via social media of a new EP for quite some time and it now has a release date of November 2nd. The title track “Dog’s Blood” has been heard by many faithful fans thanks to the good grace of YouTube and the band’s tact in letting the poor quality live videos stay up for all to see. But today we got a real taste of what the new EP has to offer, with the formal, studio-quality release of “Dog’s Blood”.
The EP itself has been the subject of much speculation among fans after hearing it would be different than what we have heard from AOF thus far, the reason being that some of the songs did not make it onto OC/YC as originally intended. Needless to say, their fan base waited patiently, scouring the internet in hopes of finding a glimpse of what was to come.
The song does not disappoint, and I think it was rightly left off of OC/YC, seeing as it would have raised some questions in terms of the direction the band was taking with that album. They were obviously shedding some of the stereotypes that a screamo band is subject to, most of which have no right to be associated with AOF. With OC/YC and now “Dog’s Blood”, AOF has gone back to some very pleasing punk roots, roots that suit them very well. “Dog’s Blood” itself is very punk in nature, but the song brings back the welcome return of George Pettit’s trademark raspy scream, something that caused a lot of scene hipsters to condemn the band with OC/YC’s release. The song’s guitar work has seemed to strike a perfect chord (pun intended) with that of Crisis and OC/YC, giving some of the sorely missed haunting feel from Crisis and the hard chord punk aura of OC/YC. The song is one of their heaviest to date and will give kids plenty of reasons to run rampant in the pits. It will fit very well into their live show, along with the other bangers they bust out before calming it down a little towards the end. Jordan “Ratbeard” Hastings also delivers a solid performance on the drums. His skills have audibly improved in his tenure with the band; they shine brightly in OC/YC and even more so here in “Dog’s Blood”.
In its entirety, the song is one of their best to date. It incorporates much of what any totally different AOF fan would praise them for. Dallas Green’s short vocal appearance in the song is one that will surely not be forgotten and will be replayed many times; the man does not cease to impress. “Dog’s Blood” is an absolutely jaw-dropping precursor of what has yet to come from these boys. For any AOF fan or fan of hardcore music in general, this is a definite MUST listen this year. It would seem that AOF intends to leave the year 2010 with a bang and are doing so in all the right ways.