Top 10 Alexisonfire Songs

Alexisonfire Songs

Feature Photo: Andreas Lawen, Fotandi, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our top ten Alexisonfire songs list digs deep into the music of a Canadian band renowned for its impactful role in taking post-hardcore and emo sounds to the Canadian mainstream. The band was established in 2001 with its members releasing their first extended play Math Sheets Demo. Thanks to Math Sheets Demo the band attracted the attention of Greg Below, a recording engineer at Distort Entertainment.

Alexisonfire went ahead to sign a recording contract with Distort Entertainment where the band issued its first three studio albums. In total, the band has released five studio albums and several extended plays. Together with Senses Fail, My Chemical Romance, Pierce the Veil, Silverstein, and At the Drive-In, Alexisonfire played a significant role in the mainstream success of the emo-tinged post-hardcore sound.

Alexisonfire’s Career Beginnings and Breakthrough

Alexisonfire career beginnings were cemented by the issue of the band’s eponymous debut studio album in October 2002. The album was issued through Distort Entertainment with Greg Below tasked with its production. Alexisonfire saw the band blend emo, post-hardcore, and screamo sound influences. “Pulmonary Archery,” “.44 Caliber Love Letter,” “Waterings,” “Polaroids of Polar Bears,” and “Adelleda” are some of the best Alexisonfire songs from the album.

Alexisonfire rose to position one hundred and twenty-seven on the Canadian Albums Chart. The album was also a commercial success in Canada where it earned the band its first platinum-certified record. Alexisonfire went on tour with Boys Night Out, From Autumn to Ashes, Billy Talent, and A Static Lullaby among others to promote their debut album.

Alexisonfire’s Other Album Releases

Watch Out! issued in June 2004, marked the band’s sophomore album. The album was primarily a post-hardcore record with Julius Butty tasked with its production. Other artists/bands that have worked with Julius Butty include Protest the Hero, Jude the Obscure, City and Colour, and Murder Thy Maker among others. “Accidents,” “Transitory,” “Happiness by the Kilowatt,” “Hey, It’s Your Funeral Mama,” and “Side Walk When She Walks” are the most popular songs off Watch Out!

The album rose to the sixth spot on the Canadian Albums Chart welcoming Alexisonfire to mainstream success in the US. Watch Out! made it to the Billboard Heatseekers Albums Chart rising to position twenty-five. The album also made it to position twenty-one on the Billboard Independent Albums Chart. Watch Out! was also a commercially successful record earning the band its second platinum-certified album in Canada.

Alexisonfire went ahead to issue a split extended play with the Canadian indie rock act Moneen in 2005 entitled The Switcheroo Series: Alexisonfire vs. Moneen. The extended play featured six tracks including an original track by Alexisonfire by the name “Charlie Sheen vs. Henry Rollins.” Eventually, Alexisonfire returned in 2006 with its third studio album Crisis. The album saw the band renew its relationship with Julius Butty on the production. Julius Butty also contributed vocals to one of the songs on the LP.

Crisis is to date Alexisonfire’s highest-charting record on the Canadian Albums Chart rising atop the chart. The album also graced the Billboard 200 rising to a peak position of number one hundred and eighty-nine. Crisis made it to the ARIA Albums Chart and UK Albums Chart, rising to number thirty-seven and seventy-two, respectively. The album, Alexisonfire’s final LP issued through Distort Entertainment, was platinum-certified in Canada. “This Could Be Anywhere in the World,” “Rough Hands,” “Boiled Frogs,” and “To A Friend” are some of the best Alexisonfire songs.

In June 2009, Alexisonfire returned with its fourth studio album Old Crows/Young Cardinals. Old Crows/Young Cardinals was issued through Dine Alone Records. Other artists affiliated with the label include At the Drive-In, Vanessa Carlton, The Cult, Jimmy Eat World, and Kate Nash. Old Crows/Young rose to the second spot on the Canadian Albums Chart. The album also made it to the ARIA Albums Chart and UK Albums Chart, rising to position seventeen and seventy, respectively.

Old Crows/Young Cardinals is the band’s highest-charting record on the Billboard 200, rising to position eighty-one. The album is Alexisonfire’s most recent album to earn platinum certification in Canada. “Born and Raised,” “Midnight Regulations,” Young Cardinals,” and “The Northern” are some of the popular songs by Alexisonfire. In 2010, Alexisonfire issued an extended play named Dog’s Blood with Jon Drew co-producing its four tracks.

Other artists who have worked with Jon Drew include Career Suicide, Arkells, and Magneta Lane. “Dogs Blood” and “Grey” are the most sought-after songs from the extended play. Death Letter, issued in 2012, marked yet another extended play by the band. The extended play saw the band issue acoustic/noise rock reworked versions of six songs released on earlier records.

After quite some while without releasing a new album, Alexisonfire returned in June 2022 with its fifth LP Otherness. The album came after several single releases such as “Familiar Drugs,” “Season of the Flood,” and “Complicit.” Otherness saw the band take on its staple post-hardcore sound with tinges of neo-psychedelia influences. The album made it to the fourth spot on the Canadian Albums Chart, rising to position sixty-seven on the UK Albums Chart. “Mistaken Information,” “Sweet Dreams of Otherness,” and “Sans Soleil” are some of the best Alexisonfire songs from Otherness.

Alexisonfire’s Other Musical Pursuits, Accolades, and Legacy

Since its establishment, Alexisonfire has proved to be a force to reckon with in the post-hardcore scene. While post-hardcore has been the band’s primary sound, Alexisonfire has featured emo, screamo, and melodic hardcore in some of its records. Some of the band’s records have gone ahead to influence the career of other bands including We Are the Ocean, Silverstein, Cancer Bats, and Four Year Strong. Here we present the all-time best Alexisonfire songs.

#10- Born and Raised

We kick off our review for the ten best Alexisonfire songs with quite a momentous song “Born and Raised.” The song is among the top musical gems from the band’s 2009 album Old Crows/Young Cardinals. “Born and Raised” is among the songs that spiced up Alexisonfire’s fourth studio album Old Crows/Young Cardinals, catapulting the record to mainstream and commercial success. The song made it to number forty-three on the Canadian Rock Chart.

#9- .44 Caliber Love Letter

Alexisonfire’s beginnings were impressive as evidenced by songs from the band’s eponymous debut studio album. “.44 Caliber Love Letter” is one of the most sought-after songs from the band’s album Alexisonfire. The song kicks off with an awe-inspiring melodic and rhythmic intro that lasts for two minutes.

“.44 Caliber Love Letter” has its lyrics cited to have been inspired by the 1986 thriller film Blue Velvet where a character promises to send a love letter straight from his heart, albeit the love letter in this context is a bullet. The song features sporadic clean vocals of Dallas Green and the punching unclean vocals of George Pettit. “.44 Caliber Love Letter” has one of the most distinctive intros of all songs issued by Alexisonfire, making it quite a memorable track.

#8- Familiar Drugs

Coming in at number eight on our ten best Alexisonfire songs list is the marvelous hit “Familiar Drugs.” The song, issued as a single in 2019, was the band’s first new release since Alexisonfire’s 2010 extended play Dog’s Blood. “Familiar Drugs” has its riff inspired by an old phone belonging to Dallas Green as revealed by co-vocalist George Pettit.

George also revealed that this song alludes to sticking to old habits despite realizing the need for change and being presented with a chance to alter your lifestyle. The singer continued to term “Familiar Drugs” as an ode to settling in one’s comfort zone foregoing what betters them. “Familiar Drugs” paved the way for the success of Alexisonfire’s fifth studio album Otherness. The song made it to the fiftieth spot on the Canadian Rock Chart.

#7- No Transitory

“No Transitory” is our first encounter (on the list) with a song from the band’s sophomore album Watch Out! on our list. If we are being honest here, “No Transitory” is not as hard-hitting as some tracks on this record. However, the song appeals to the fans of ‘softer’ songs by Alexisonfire. Backing up the mildly-aggressive instrumentation of “No Transitory” is Dallas Green’s soulful vocal delivery. The lyrics to this song were a collaborative effort between the band’s co-vocalists Dallas Green and George Pettit.

#6- Pulmonary Archery

Number six on our ten best Alexisonfire songs list is the impressive hit “Pulmonary Archery.” Issued as the last song off the band’s debut LP, “Pulmonary Archery” serves as the climax of the record. The song is an energy-filled hard-hitting pick with fascinating screamo influences. Despite the punchy vocal delivery and aggressive instrumentation, “Pulmonary Archery” still manages to feature cheerful melodies.

“Pulmonary Archery” was issued alongside a striking music video that received some airplay on MuchMusic. The music video was directed by Marc Ricciardelli, who has also directed music videos for Ten Second Epic, Triumph, and Bedouin Soundclash. “Pulmonary Archery” had its music video crowned Best Video at the 2004 Canadian Independent Music Awards ceremony.

#5- Rough Hands

Crisis, the band’s third studio album, is by far the band’s best album to date. Introducing us to the band’s musicianship on Crisis is the hit “Rough Hands.” “Rough Hands” finds Alexisonfire serving us with its awe-inspiring blend of emo and post-hardcore sounds. The song starts slowly with the clean soulful vocals of Dallas Green with George Pettit kicking in with his impressive growling vocals.

“Rough Hands” was never a mainstream successful track. However, the song managed to become one of the fan-favorite tracks by Alexisonfire. The song’s lyrics are centered around the story of a troubled couple. “Rough Hands” had its music video directed by Marc Ricciardelli.

#4- Boiled Frogs

“Boiled Frogs” is yet another remarkable track off the band’s third studio album Crisis. The song’s lyrics are allegoric of a man’s love for his job that he almost forgets everything else in his entire life. Lead co-vocalist George Pettit went ahead to reveal that the song’s lyrics were inspired by his father’s life as a designer of refrigerator parts.

Unfortunately, after more than two and a half decades of work, George’s father faces the fact that he had fallen captive to what the singer terms to be a lack of loyalty in the workplace. The song’s title, inspired by the experience of George’s father, alludes to the scientific concept of ‘boiling frogs.’ “Boiled Frogs” made it to number thirty-eight on the Canadian Rock Chart.

#3- Young Cardinals

The third pick on our top ten Alexisonfire songs list is the ravishing hit “Young Cardinals.” “Young Cardinals” was issued as the first single off the band’s fourth studio album Old Crows/Young Cardinals. The song is the emblem of Alexisonfire’s musicianship on the band’s fourth LP. Its raw and energetic delivery makes it the quintessential track off Old Crows/Young Cardinals.

The song’s music video was shot on board the Niagara Falls sightseeing boat Maid of the Mist. “Young Cardinals” is the band’s second gold-certified song after “This Could Be Anywhere in the World.” The song rose to the top fifty on the Canadian Hot 100, peaking at number twenty-nine on the Canadian Rock Chart.

#2- Accidents

We earlier mentioned the distinctive intro of the hit “.44 Caliber Love Letter.” Joining the list of songs with impressive (and distinctive) intros by Alexisonfire is our second hit on the list, “Accidents.” The song is among the top musical gems (by far the best on our list) from the band’s sophomore studio album Watch Out! “Accidents” was issued amidst heavy touring by the band.

At the time of this song’s release, Alexisonfire was just concluding a Canadian tour with Boys Night Out, at the same time increasingly touring with Hawthorne Heights, Emery, and Silverstein. The song features magnificent gutsy vocals by George Pettit. “Accidents” won the 2005 MuchMusic Video Awards Best Independent Video accolade. Alexisonfire joined Ciara, Arcade Fire, and Billy Talent among other acts to deliver live performances during the 2005 MuchMusic Video Awards ceremony.

#1- This Could Be Anywhere in the World

Number one on our ten best Alexisonfire songs list is the hard-hitting hit “This Could Be Anywhere in the World.” The song is Alexisonfire’s signature hit and the best track off the band’s third studio album Crisis. “This Could Be Anywhere in the World” has its lyrics centered around a city infested with gang violence. According to the band, gang violence acts are orchestrated by ghosts from broken homes.

“This Could Be Anywhere in the World” was the band’s first song to earn gold certification in Canada. The song was a success in the Canadian mainstream rising to number thirty-five on the Rock Chart. “This Could Be Anywhere in the World” won the 2007 MuchMusic Video Awards Best Cinematography accolade. The song’s music video was directed by Chris Sargent who has also worked with City and Colour, Hedley, and IllScarlett.

Top 10 Alexisonfire Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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