Asking Alexandria - Stand Up and Scream
Record Label: Sumerian Records
Release Date: September 15, 2009
The post-hardcore scene is always trying to stand out from the crowd in some form, but as I was on YouTube one evening, I ran into this English band called Asking Alexandria, who formed in 2003, broke up in 2007, and then got back together. At first, I particularly didn't like them, but this is a don't-judge-a-book-by-the-cover band. This is a great band, especially for a debut album (as it has been claimed by many).
The first track, "Alerion" is a good opener, and it opens with a "phone call", I guess. I don't know how to describe it, but it's different. Vocalist Danny Worsnop yells, "Fuck this!" and then comes deep growls and a harsh guitar playing, along with double-bass drumming. Some of the tracks on the album, however, aren't much different, but at least they're not bad. "Nobody Don't Dance No More" is one of my favorites, with the lyrics saying, "I'm alive. I can't believe what I've become, I won't stop breathing. Your world is falling at your feet, I won't stop breathing." They're some good lyrics, but that's about as good as they get. The lyrics in this band are so cheesy, it's unbelievable. A perfect example would be the last track, "When Everyday's The Weekend". There's an awesome breakdown in the middle of the song, but that's all the song's got. A song about partying and "Getting kicked out the fucking door" doesn't comply to me as good lyrics. My second favorite song is "Hey There Mr. Brooks", which features Shawn Milke from Alesana, who contributes to the chorus, singing his heart out with the lyrics, "I'll be there in the morning / with a smile on my face, / I'll be there in the morning / to start it all again." My favorite track, however, is "I Used to Have a Best Friend (But then He Gave Me an STD)". A great clean chorus, witty breakdowns, and good drumming compile all into one, memorable song.
As a vocalist, Worsnop definitely shines when he screams, but not so much when singing. His clean vocals can use some work, but they're not bad. What is unique in this band is that they implement electronica beats in some of their songs, like the non-lyrical "Hiatus", and it's perfect. The guitars are perfect at their playing, the drumming is great, the bass is on notch, and Worsnop screams and sings on key, without a mishap. The production is super clear, and all of the instruments come to life together with the vocals. Seriously, Sumerian Records can definitely make a CD sound good. But then again, I can never complain again after I heard Brokencyde's EP (don't worry, it was only two songs), which was so muffled it was unreal. I am also head over heels in love with the guitar. Every song has a unique type of playing (except the breakdowns), and it makes me want to listen to that part over and over again. This album isn't without faults, however. As mentioned before, the lyrics are just unbelievable in some songs, especially the end song, which Worsnop screams around the end, with "I like to party / you like to party / we like to party / all fucking year / all fucking year". That is bad, simply bad. However, not all the songs are that bad lyrically, but that one and some others are. Another fault is that the clean vocals can use a little work or tuning. My point is the screamed vocals are amazing, and the clean aren't. But of course, like any band, they improve for the better, or the worse.
Honestly, I don't know why this band gets constantly compared to Attack Attack. Those guys are nowhere near as good as these guys are. I don't think they sound alike at all. Anyway, Asking Alexandria might have broken up back in 2007, but they are back. Although this a great debut album, they have to work on the lyrics next time around, because they are unimpressive, and working on the clean vocals can help out as well, but enough with my griping. If you love post-hardcore in general, this is a must buy. To the rest, it may not be a good place to start.
Rhythm guitarist Ben Bruce was in a band called Asking Alexandria while he lived in Dubai before moving back to England, where he formed another band of the same name, which is this one. I thought I'd clear that up for you.
I find this album to be entirely forgettable, minus "The Final Episode" and "Hey There, Mr. Brooks". However, I will agree that vocalist Danny Worsnop is a notable screamer, and is or will be known for his fondness and ability of growling. But that's pretty much it for me. I'd go into much more detail, but I only gave the whole record one listen. Nothing really stuck with me rather than the strangely distinctive "Mr. Brooks" and "The Final Episode".
I find it odd that you don't think Asking Alexandria and Attack Attack! sound alike. If you filtered out Worsnop and former AA! vocalist Austin Carlile from the music of both respective bands, I believe you'd find similarities all the way down to the electronic sequences, although Asking Alexandria would likely be considered as more brutal.