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Alexisonfire

 Alexisonfire 1 Photo

When a band names themselves after the world's only lactating contortionist, you know you are in for something different; and as with the original act, you know that some people are going to be fascinated, some will be in awe, and some will consider the whole lot to be a complete and utter waste of time. This is a band of extremes: screaming and pleading, ugly and beautiful, poetic and obscene, obvious and sublime. You can think of them however you want. Alexisonfire rose up out of the Southern Ontario underground in late 2001 like some monstrous car-accident-in-progress. Hitting the ground with an immediate full head of steam, Dallas, Wade, George, Jesse and Chris have not only impressed the critics with their sour/sweet approach to performance and writing, but are recognized for their stellar musicianship, and the palpably pent-up tightness of the band live.Alexisonfire knows that their fans aren't stupid. The fans know the real deal when they see it, and in the case of AOF, they seem to have told 2 friends, who told 2 friends, and so on. During the year that followed the release of their self-titled 2002 debut album, the band has shot into the mainstream media like a streaker at an All-Star game: 3 videos reach the top 5 on MuchMusic (the first "hardcore" artist to ever chart at #1), a US deal with Equal Vision Records (cred-worthy home of Coheed & Cambria), a sponsorship with Blink-182's clothing startup Atticus, an MMVA nomination for the "Pulmonary Archery" video, a Best Video Award for "Pulmonary Archery" at The Indies (Canadian Independent Music Awards) , and the everlasting status as the posterboys for hardcore crossover appeal. This may all sound like SOP for an up-and-coming rock ensemble, but wait a minute; this is hardcore music -- often described by members of the band as "the sound of two Catholic high-school girls in mid-knife-fight". This hasn't happened before. Nobody is more aware of this fact than the boys in Alexisonfire. Taking it all in stride, they remain guileless, affable, and capable of equal amounts of sarcasm and self-deprecation. They rock the MuchOnDemand studios like it's a sweaty all-age venue in St. Catherines, which in turn is rocked like they did when AOF germinated in the basements and rec-rooms of their now-proud but baffled parents not so long ago. Their songs scream of intellectual fury basted with ladlefuls of vocal pop melody; it's a bipolar magnet, and if you stop and listen or see a live show, it'll all oddly start to make sense. Their long-awaited sophomore album, Watch Out!, is loaded with everything the kids love about them: power, emotion and humor. Resistance is futile.

 

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