Asking Alexandria

Stand Up and Scream

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This U.K.-based quintet is the second band with this name that guitarist Ben Bruce has formed. The original version of Asking Alexandria existed while Bruce lived in Dubai, but when he moved back to his native England, he re-formed the group with all new members but the same name. It probably doesn't matter; metalcore of this type can be played by pretty much anyone. Stand Up and Scream features all the sounds of today's angsty, floppy-haired youth: death growl vocals, clean vocals on the choruses, staccato guitar riffs, mosh pit-roiling breakdowns, and the latest addition to the formula, retro/analog synth lines oozing and humming through the mix. These guys are reminiscent of Bring Me the Horizon, in the sense that they're British imitators of a largely American subgenre that they don't quite have a grip on. Their songs are faceless and unmemorable; they have two tricks that separate them from the pack. One is the insertion of techno/rave breaks into the middle of their otherwise stomping songs, like the one that gets rolling about two minutes into "A Candlelit Dinner with Inamorata." They pull the same stunt on "Nobody Don't Dance No More" and "A Prophecy," and the short "Hiatus" is a straight-up dance track. Their other trick is to downgrade to ultra-emotive acoustic weeping, which they do on the ironically titled "A Single Moment of Sincerity" and a few other tracks. Overall, this isn't a terrible album, but it's not a great one, either, and committed metalcore fans aren't gonna enjoy the techno outbursts.

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