Better Noise Music
Released October 1
Opening with lead single Alone Again, Asking Alexandria kick things off in a somewhat safe manner by offering up an accessible, radio friendly tune that gives little clues to how the rest of their latest album See What’s On The Inside will transpire.
The band have openly endorsed the new collaborative approach taken with the writing of this, the bands seventh studio album, with the band coming together in the studio for the first time in over a decade to make this a truly cohesive collection of songs with contributions from all five band members.
While All Alone has everything you could want from a song – anthemic choruses, solos, out and out moments of rock and the hypnotic vocal delivery by frontman Danny Worsnop, it still feels like a by-the-numbers offering from a band that has never been one to pander to public expectation.
Faded Out dishes up more of the same, an almost routine rock number that flirts with the harder side of rock without embracing it.
Don’t get me wrong, these are both killer tunes, but they almost feel like a forced necessity to bridge the gaps between public demand and personal growth.
Towards the tail end of Faded Out Asking Alexandria seem to warm further to the task at hand, with timing and tempo changes that add to the music mystique that has become an unexpected expectation on an Asking Alexandria album.
Never Gonna Learn begins with a gently ebbing guitar intro that never quite gets out of second gear, but again, maybe that wasn’t the intention. One thing it does well is accentuate the vocal talents of Worsnop, who saunters effortlessly through a myriad of vocal techniques within his music that far exceeds many of his contemporaries.
If I Could Erase It swirls into life awash with guitars but quickly pulls back before allowed the opportunity to ignite, reverting to another safe sounding rock tune that would easily slot into high rotation on most radio stations.
I should point out here that I am thoroughly enjoying this album. Admittedly, I have heard not enough of Asking Alexandria’s music to be an authority on the subject but I have to admit from the songs people have played me periodically over the years I was expecting something a little more explosive.
Maybe its my own expectations I need to get in check before I move on…
Find Myself starts off beautifully, an ambient and gentle passage of music that oozes warmth and comfort. I should be happy that I can understand and therefore more appreciate Worsnop’s vocal prowess, and I am gradually finding my previous expectations of something more sinister begin to erode enough to fully appreciate the gravity of what See What’s On The Inside is offering.
As if to kick me in the bollocks, the next track that comes on is called You’ve Made It This Far, and, finally, for that I am grateful.
The title track follows with a more blues infused composition that proves that sometimes things don’t have to be changed up to provide a step up (figure that out!)
Misery Loves Company starts with a drum roll that threatens something slightly heavier without delivering, while Fame (why do I find myself singing “I’m gonna live forever in my head?) actually does fulfil that promise, providing the hardest edged (but still no more than rock tinged) track on the album.
Album closer The Grey has the feel that the band have finally awoken their inner beast while still sticking to the tried and true rock formula of all that has come before it.
It is my obvious stand out pick on See What’s On The Inside, and, although my own expectations on how this album would sound were not even remotely met, I think that is more the fault of my own than the collection of songs presented here.
See What’s On The Inside is a neatly packaged and well produced release and should only serve to reinforce Asking Alexandria’s respected musical reputation.
If you are after an album of pulsating aggression then maybe you should look elsewhere, but if you are prepared to allow yourself breathing space to appreciate rock music at its most sincere then definitely settle back and enjoy See What’s On The Inside.
Pre-order the album here https://askingalexandria.ffm.to/swoti