It has currently been just over ten years since the St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada-based post-hardcore band Alexisonfire released their second studio album Watch Out! It’s always an interesting concept to view albums as a snapshot of where the band is at that point in time. In respect to that concept, AOF has a beautiful picture to be proud of, finding an incredible balance between aggression and melody. It’s no surprise the album was certified platinum in Canada in 2007, considering it still receives high regard today within their respected genre.
If you’re leaning more towards aggression, the opening track “Accidents” will quickly satisfy your needs. AOF raises concern for practices within the medical field in this track, with clever and reflective lines such as “I’m not sure what’s worse/ the waiting or the waiting room,” and “do they even cure you?/ or is it just to humor us before we die.” “Accidents” demonstrates Alexisonfire’s more serious side in regards to songwriting, and has many components to be proud of throughout.
Among one of the many high points of the album, “Side Walk When She Walks” demonstrates a bit of the band’s softer side. Apparently guitarist/vocalist Dallas Green will occasionally play this song live when he’s touring as City and Colour. The track overall has some great qualities to it and Green is phenomenal vocally throughout. Also a track with noting that’s on the softer side is “Happiness by the Kilowatt”, where Green also produces some great sounds vocally (as if there’s a song where Green doesn’t have a good voice). The drumming by Jesse Ingelevics is also phenomenal on the latter, being able to weave between the smooth guitar riffs and Green’s voice.
Remember that serious side of Alexisonfire I mentioned above? You won’t see much of that side in the track “Hey, It’s Your Funeral Mama”, given the song is about go-karting. Though the track still gives off a pretty heavy feel, you can’t help but crack a smile when Green and unclean vocalist George Pettit sing “so you drive red/ and I’ll drive black/ we’ll see who’s machine was most recently serviced” during the chorus. As a whole, the track is fun and sends a reminder your way of what makes Alexisonfire different from other post-hardcore bands.
Arguably one of the most underrated Alexisonfire tracks in my opinion, “Sharks and Danger” is a poetic masterpiece. As far as vocals are concerned, the track possesses a very small amount from the members of Alexisonfire themselves. Instead, we’re carried through the track mainly by smooth guitar riffs with backing audio of a phone conversation between an unknown individual and a lady named Nancy at the St. Catherines Psychiatric Help Line. If you listen closely (or just look up the lyrics), you’ll get a small hint of the anxiety that plagues this unknown individual, and the kind of thoughts that constantly run through his head. Anxiety truly chokes him like razor wire.
It’s a rare thing for an album to never really grow tiresome for me. Among the small list of albums that I’d include, Watch Out! makes the cut. The album overall possesses some great sounds and great synergy between all five members of Alexisonfire. As much as I would love to go into more detail on all of the tracks, I figured I’d spare you the time and allow you to experience the album for yourself. As unfortunate as it is, Alexisonfire split up a few years back and are no longer producing music. However, their albums still place a powerful stamp within their respected genre today, and their memory is kept relatively active. If you’re already a fan of the post-hardcore genre, I’m sure you’re a fan of this album. If you still haven’t experienced it for yourself, I suggest you give it an honest listen.
Post-hardcore | Distort Records