Canada’s premier post-hardcore dynamos have a brilliant back-catalogue: we sort out the ‘great’ from the ‘immaculate’
Disclaimer: there is no such thing as a bad Alexisonfire album. Even when they’re at their worst, the Ontario quintet are still paragons of post-hardcore and screamo music. However, at their best, they eschew subgenres entirely, their songs incorporating everything from metal riffing to bluesy acoustic guitar, from punk snarls to gentle croons.
The Canadians’ ever-evolving approach to rock has been rewarded with ongoing relevance. Their first four albums earned platinum status in their home country, and their long-awaited post-reunion fifth, 2022’s Otherness, continued their streak of cracking the Top 10 in Canada. Here’s that back-catalogue in order of excellence, from the good to the immaculate.
This is how brilliant Alexisonfire are: an album as energetic and brimming with ideas as their debut is their least impactful. Really, the only thing trapping Alexisonfire in this list’s bottom spot is its audible naivety, and to be fair, at 22, guitarist/singer Dallas Green was the oldest band member at the time of its release: the songs lack repeated hooks to keep them grounded and frontman George Pettit indulges in some cringy, faux-poetic spoken-word.
However, between the adrenaline-pumping riffing, and Green and Pettit’s vocal interplay, Alexisonfire bursts with promise. It was also key in legitimising the screamo sound in Canada: after being distributed by EMI, it became a word-of-mouth hit, ultimately going platinum in 2018.