Asking Alexandria – ‘Like A House On Fire’

Asking Alexandria had quite a lot to live up to with their new album Like A House On Fire. After 2017’s self titled saw both the return of Danny Worsnop and a drastic change in sound, the band’s fans were divided.

Four of the five singles start us off, with second track ‘They Don’t Want What We Want (And They Don’t Care)‘ being no doubt the strongest. Worsnop is on form, the rhythm section is tight and we even have some almost screams. The opener ‘House On Fire‘ feels like it was designed to be a call to arms, but is a little uninspired, never quite taking off the way it was meant to. ‘Down To Hell‘ has some killer guitars but the chorus is unexpectedly anticlimactic and the “na na nas” sound out of place.

Antisocialist‘ is where things start to get interesting, with very pop leaning verses and beats, married with a belter of a stadium rock chorus. It feels like Asking Alexandria know exactly what they want to do, but aren’t quite hitting the nail on the head. We’re four tracks in, and only one has replay value so far. The album’s lead single ‘The Violence‘ is a latecomer (the album’s penultimate track) and, like ‘Antisocialist‘, was stuck trying to merge heavy rock choruses with radio ready verses. Though it was the perfect choice to introduce the album’s sound, the track feels like something is missing.

Lyrically, I can’t deny that the band have lots to say. “I’ve got a legacy to build and you’re standing in my way”, from ‘One Turns To None‘, is just one of many powerful statements on the record. The song itself isn’t that bad either, but the mellow poppy verses are tiring when you’re eight tracks in.

This album isn’t a complete throwaway, though. Afore-mentioned ‘They Don’t Want What We Want‘ is an awesome track, and ‘I Don’t Need You‘ is a beauty that stands up well next to the likes of From Death To Destiny‘s ‘Moving On‘. Closer ‘Lorazepam‘ is a late redeemer, beginning with “I’m not an addict I just sometimes fucking hate myself” and eventually leading us to one of the record’s best choruses.

The biggest success of Like A House On Fire is that it doesn’t sound anything like they’ve done before. Had the band tried to appease fans wanting Stand Up And Scream part 2, this album would’ve no doubt been a disaster. That being said, even when the songwriting is good and the choruses are big, a lot of the album sounds as if the band were a little bored and going through the motions. It’s easy to listen to this record and find your mind has wandered elsewhere. Trust me when I say this, it makes reviewing a hell of a lot harder when you find you’ve missed two songs ’cause you were thinking about what’s for dinner.