ASKING ALEXANDRIA – Like A House On Fire
Released May 15th, 2020
Danny Worsnop // Vocals
Benjamin Bruce // Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals
Cameron Liddel // Rhythm Guitar
Sam Bettley // Bass
James Cassells // Drums
If there is one thing that British rock band Asking Alexandria are good at, it’s ever evolving and ever changing. Like A House On Fire is absolutely no exception to this, and the five piece are hitting new heights. This is the sixth studio album from the five piece who’ve spent their career signed to Sumerian Records. The album was produced by Matt Good of From First To Last and D.R.U.G.S, and is the second Asking Alexandria record he’s worked on, as well as producing records by The Word Alive and Attila.
Title track and opener ‘House On Fire’ starts off with a melodic piano before the breakdown happens and the heaviness kicks in. You can always count on the guys of Asking to be tight musically and this is really no exception. Danny Worsnop goes from strength to strength every album as his vocal ability improves and develops and he sounds fantastic on this track. The guys dropped the music video for ‘House On Fire’ on Monday and was shot whilst each of them have been in isolation in their homes in the US and you can check it out here. Next up is ‘They Don’t Want What We Want’ which was the second single released off the album back in February. It starts off with what sounds like a ticking clock and Danny’s vocals before the breakdown and the heavy guitars come in. Vocally Danny is very dynamic and switches from clean to screamed vocals really nicely and smoothly. I love the lyric in this track’s chorus ‘we don’t want what they want and we don’t care’ which I think really sums up the way Asking Alexandria have always been musically with their ever-evolving sound.
Fourth single and track ‘Down To Hell’ is track three and guitarist Ben Bruce has said of the track ‘We all have a rebellious side and ‘Down To Hell’ is a big ol’ rebellious rock n roll song reminiscent of ‘From Death To Destiny’’ and I really tend to agree. I’m super keen to hear this one live as it’s a really fun track to both dance and headbang to. Track three and the third single off the album is ‘Antisocialist’ and not only is it one of my favourite Asking Alexandria tunes of all time, it’s also one of my new favourite songs of all time. ‘Antisocialist’ has already had nearly 2 million streams on Spotify, and the music video has had over 1.5 million YouTube views. Ben Bruce, rhythm guitarist Cameron Liddell and bassist Sam Bettley all take on backing vocals on this track during the chorus, and drummer James Cassells just really brings it throughout. It’s a really down and dirty rock track and the message being put across ‘please stay away from me coz I don’t fucking like you!’ is a great one and if you’re having a bad day I recommend screaming it at the top of your lungs and it’ll make you feel better.
‘I Don’t Need You’ is track five and it’s a much more sombre and slower track with a beautiful piano piece being played throughout. It feels like a tribute to a past lover, especially with the closing lyric ‘I don’t need you no more, no more’. There is guest vocals from Grace Grundy, a UK based singer/songwriter on this track and her vocals really contrast nicely with Danny’s. The acoustic guitar played throughout is also really beautiful and the track as a whole reminds me of ‘Moving On’ off of Asking Alexandria’s 2013’s ‘From Death To Destiny’. ‘All Due Respect’ is next and it contains a really awesome bassline from Sam Bettley, and some fantastic vocals from Danny Worsnop. Danny’s voice can sometimes come across as quite gruff, but in this track it’s really clean and powerful. You can feel the emotion coming through his delivery of the lyrics from start to finish. ‘Take Some Time’ is a fun one and involves some really neat and clean programming throughout, not just your typical rock band instruments. Ben Bruce has always written and performed great solos, and I really love the solo in the latter half of this track. ‘One Turns To None’ is track eight and the intro really grabbed me as soon as it kicked in and I went ‘ooooh’ because it’s sick! It’s a really solid rock and headbanging track. I was rocking out at my desk as I listened to this track and wouldn’t hesitate to put it on repeat. It actually gives me a little bit of a ‘City Of Evil era Avenged Sevenfold vibe, especially during the solo.
‘It’s Not Me (It’s You)’ is like a weird hybrid crossover of Blink-182 and Green Day but heavier, and somehow it works. Well, it works for me anyway. It gets bonus points from me because there’s solo vocals by Ben Bruce and the man has the voice of an angel! It’s also just a fam track to jam to. Next comes ‘Here’s To Starting Over’, and is probably my favourite drum track on Like A House On Fire, James Cassells is an incredibly talented drummer and I appreciate that he always gets his moments to shine. Musically as a whole this track is super tight, but special mentions where special mentions are due here. Track eleven is ‘What’s Gonna Be’ and I strongly feel as if it’s a personal message from Asking Alexandria to their fans about who they are as a band, and how they have grown and evolved as a band over the course of their career. They’ve never been afraid to experiment with their sound from album to album and they incorporate the electronics and synth beautifully with the instrumentals. ‘Give You Up’ is a classic example of this and the synths really compliment what’s going on instrumentally and vocally.
‘In My Blood’ is the third to last track on the record and I really enjoyed the way Ben’s lead guitar lines intertwined with Cameron’s rhythm guitar lines throughout and the way Sam and James back them up with their bass and drums respectively. It’s got a kind of down and dirty vibe, but in all the right ways. Second to last and the first single released is ‘The Violence’ and I just have to say right off the bat that the music video is perfect for today’s society. The band take on the role of being Zombies, but instead of them being the bloodthirsty ones, it’s the human race that is the disease. When this track was released I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the record, as it’s similar to their previous self-titled album, but also really different. It’s got really heavy guitars, bass and drums that you expect from Asking Alexandria and it’s great to see Danny Worsnop flexing his vocal muscles with a mix of clean and screamed vocals. I know I personally can’t wait to headbang to this one live. Last, but not least we have ‘Lorazepam’ and lyrically it’s powerful as hell. ‘I don’t care anymore, I’ve got a sickness in my soul’ is the driving lyric of the chorus and the track features Danny doing most of the singing, but has Ben repeatedly singing ‘I don’t care yeah, I don’t care yeah, I don’t care anymore’ and it’s a really cool juxtaposition. It’s a really great way to wrap up Like A House On Fire and I like the way it tapers out to silence at the end.
The Asking Alexandria guys have never been afraid to be true to who they are and to grow and evolve as a band. Like A House On Fire is absolutely no exception to this and I truly believe they’ve knocked it out of the park with this record. There aren’t really any tracks on the record that I would consider as weak or mediocre and each track is there for a reason. The expectations they’ve only ever tried to live up to are their own and I admire them for staying true to themselves and really not giving a f*** what the haters have to say.
Asking Alexandria – Like A House On Fire tracklisting:
1. House On Fire
2. They Don’t Want What We Want
3. Down to Hell
5. I Don’t Need You
6. All Due Respect
7. Take Some Time
8. One Turns To None
9. It’s Not Me (It’s You)
10. Here’s to Starting Over
11. What’s Gonna Be
12. Give You Up
13. In My Blood
14. The Violence