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Album Review: Alexisonfire - Dog's Blood EP

Canadian post-hardcore giants Alexisonfire’s career has so far been marked by a distinctive cocktailing of hardcore foundations with highly melodic segments. Exception may be made from their latest album ‘Old Crows/Young Cardinals’ that added many new elements of the indie variety and garnered warm reviews. Their EP ‘Dog’s Blood’ is the remnants of those writing sessions that led to the creation of the said album and should not be treated as signature Alexis material.

Opener ‘Dog’s Blood’ is the most convincing effort on the EP with what is essentially a truly dirty riff that plunges into hardcore punk territory. Far from the raw-then-melodic school of thought Alexisonfire usually deal with, 'Dog’s Blood' is an all-out thomper frantically screamed through before the echoing clean guitars open a mid-section closer to the effect-laden work of their latest album. The song then crashes in to a cymbal-pulsed and amp-shredding moment that fades away with feedback.

Similarly, ‘Black As Jet’ is a thunderous galloping mammoth of a punk track that barely leaves you any space to breathe before the band go into spontaneous ideas mode and loses track. ‘Grey’’s sound bares the most similarities with their regular style with crashing instrumentals softened by echoing Dinosaur Jresque guitar work. The song doesn’t have a lot of purpose other than making the band sound absolutely awesome.

‘Vex’ on the other hand is an instrumental song that spans their career going from soft to spacious to heavy and back, and although the musicianship is top notch, they lack the post-rock credentials to make for the lack of vocal work. Overall, that is the feeling that emanates from this EP: an interesting insight into the efforts of songwriting. Apart from ‘Dog’s Blood’ and to some extent ‘Grey’, it is merely uncooked food as well as a great testament to Alexisonfire’s musicianship and vision.


'Dog's Blood' EP by Alexisonfire is available now on Vagrant Records/Dine Alone Records.

Alexisonfire on MySpace, Twitter and Facebook.

James Berclaz-Lewis

Alter The Press!