"I am rock and roll! Living the life that you have only dreamed of! I am rock and roll! At it's fucking finest"
Danny Worsnop screams these words from the title track of Reckless and Relentless and I have to admit; it got me a bit jealous. Asking Alexandria makes the rock and roll life look like an amazing one. In the live video for their song "Closure", the second track off of Reckless and Relentless, beautiful women are throwing their underwear on stage, A.A are downing liquor like there is a shortage, Ben Bruce is signing a girl's breast in the middle of a crowd with a big cheeky grin on his face; it seems to be an all around good time. Asking Alexandria are the current kings of the hardcore scene, just in terms of popularity. Their success doesn't just come from the lovers though. Trolls and haters scramble out of the wood work like rats to come hate on this band. Danny Worsnop seems to be like Oli Sykes. Whether you love him or hate him, everyone seems to love talking about him. Asking Alexandria know that they are at the top of the world and they brag about it, slamming it in your face how much better their lives are than ours; and that is fine by me.
Reckless and Relentless is exactly what the name suggests. While their debut album, Stand Up and Scream, took a more serious approach and an overall darker tone, this sophomore album is balls to the wall ferocity and fun; this album is an absolute blast. Are the lyrics well written? Not particularly. Are Danny's vocal's any good? Sort of, but nothing spectacular. Is the album creative and original? No, not really. So what the hell is so special about Reckless and Relentless? It was the most fun I have ever had listening to an album.
R&R never lets up, except for a one minute monologue, "Dedication", setting the scene and building things up for "Someone, Somewhere". The rest of the album is Danny screaming about sex, drugs, the rock and roll lifestyle, making past mistakes and now all he wants to do is live his life. Do not go into Reckless and Relentless thinking that this will be a deep and emotional experience; you will be sorely disappointed.
Also Reckless & Relentless isn't that original. You will find your standard techno, breakdowns, scream/clean vocals, etc. However A.A throws up the big middle finger to originality, turns up the amps to 11 and just goes wild. You won't care that the album is fairly generic once you start throwing down in the pits as "To the Stage" is being played and the words "Just like before, I should have told you again that i'm sorry! I'm so sorry!" are being blasted across the venue.
The instrumentals are fairly well done. You will find a couple of recycled riffs, but for the most part, Ben Bruce and Cameron Liddell do a smashing job on guitars, adding a lot of flavor to the tired breakdown formula. The drums are stellar and the production is good enough that these are the standout moments in R&R; but that's another problem in it's own right. Sometimes the instruments get pushed a bit too far forward, production wise, and Danny's voice gets drowned out and we can't hear a word that he is singing.
Reckless & Relentless has shown us that Asking Alexandria don't care about originality, conforming to a scene or even being nice guys. They just want to take over the world, do drugs, drink their liquor, sleep with girls, and have a blast doing it. That is fine by me. These guys are a huge guilty pleasure and I am not ashamed of it in the slightest. This album is not meant to be taken as a deep musical endeavor at all. If you take R&R with a grain of salt and realize that is a pure, kick you in the teeth, "rock" album than you will have the time of your life listening to Reckless & Relentless; I know I did.