For a band named after a lactating porn star and contortionist, Canadian hardcore mob Alexisonfire sure did go far, but sadly, late on Friday night, they brought the curtain down on their decade together by announcing they’ve split up to focus on other projects.
To those who’ve followed the band closely, this, sadly, came as no surprise. In recent times the various members’ side projects had snowballed into much bigger deals then was ever their early intention and were even beginning to surpass the band in terms of sales and scale.
Guitarist Dallas Green has just sold out two nights at the Roundhouse and is filling big rooms stateside as folk troubadour City And Colour. Co-vocalist Wade MacNeil has his old skool punk outfit Black Lungs and has another slew of projects lined up, while drummer Jordan Hastings has his new band Cunter to look after too.
Despite this recent spell of inactivity, Alexisonfire have left a huge mark on rock and hardcore. Listen to any of the UK’s fastest rising hardcore bands, like Architects, Bring Me The Horizon, Gallows or even their North American counterparts like The Devil Wears Prada and letLive and you can hear that they all owe Alexisonfire a massive debt.
In fact, every hardcore band that has managed to score heavy radio/video rotation with a big ass soaring chorus owes something to Alexisonfire. They perfected the art of creating a barreling hardcore track with a huge, arms aloft, shout-a-long chorus at its heart.
They’ve also left behind four brilliant records, especially their second album ‘Watch Out!’ and third album ‘Crisis’, both of which seldom feature a bad moment. Their debut and 2009’s ‘Young Cardinals’ are a bit ropier, but still pretty darn good. The potent mix of anthemic choruses and screaming has never been better fused than by Alexisonfire.
They were also a superb live band, with their gigs always the scene of absolute carnage. Stories of the brutality of their pits are legendary, with many gig goers doubtless waking up every morning and still feeling the effects in their creaking bodies.
Though they enjoyed a comfortable existence, the band sadly never really achieved the status and fame that they might have done, having always been deemed a bit too extreme for casual fans of My Chemical Romance and The Used. But their mark will be left in the next 20 years of bands who pick up guitars and microphones after hearing ‘Boiled Frogs’ or ‘Hey Momma, It’s Your Funeral’ and form their own outfits.
Finally, Alexisonfire may be gone, but their members will still be out in force. City And Colour tour the UK in October and seem to be gaining fans by the bucketload every time Dallas steps on a stage. And, if internet buzz is to believed, this isn’t the last we’ve heard from Wade either….