Asking Alexandria – See What’s On the Inside
Released: October 1, 2021
Danny Worsnop // vocals
Ben Bruce // vocals, lead guitar
Cameron Liddel // rhythm guitar
Sam Bettley // bass
James Cassells // drums
It feels like it was only yesterday that Asking Alexandria released their sixth studio album, Like A House On Fire. Okay, yes. It’s been merely a year inbetween releases, but what else can bands do in this time when touring just isn’t an option right now? Despite this release receiving mixed reactions from fans, the band saw fit to keep pushing forwards and on See What’s On The Inside, they’ve allowed themselves to strip back to their roots and initial love for music and really contemplate where they stand today in the alternative/metal/rock genre.
Kicking off the album is opening track ‘Alone Again’ and straight up, we hear a band reminding us and them why they fell into music in the first place. It’s their strongest single we’ve heard in the last few years, whilst also hinting at a more mature version of Asking Alexandria. ‘Faded Out’ further marks the band’s progression with an edgy rap-rock verse thrown in by vocalist Danny Worsnop, adding the much needed wildfire that the band have been searching for since their early days. The motivational lyrics seeping through the punchy, melodic instrumentals on this track particularly were a huge vibe for me personally.
So far on See What’s On the Inside, it’s almost as if the band remembered their potential they uncovered when they unleashed that self-titled album back in 2017. ‘Never Gonna Learn’ is an earworm of radio friendly rock that the band are striking for on this record. I’m a sucker for a punchy riff that I can blast in the car on a scorching summer’s day, and this one gave me those feels. But it’s ‘If I Could Erase It’ where Asking Alexandria reach their full potential on this record. Hands down the track you need to hear this week, the song perfectly captures the band’s past, present and future in a succinct, cleverly crafted manoeuvre that’ll propel them in the right direction. You want the heavy of Stand Up and Scream combined with the thrilling melodies of their self-titled album? You’ll get it all here. This is the style that represents the band to a tee, and we need more of this.
If that sent your heart racing, prepare to get in tune with your deepest thoughts and emotions on ‘Find Myself’. A track that features some intricately beautiful orchestral instruments (reminiscent of when Architects redid ‘Animals’), ‘Find Myself’ sees the band crafting a beautiful rock melody, bleeding guitars and strings together for some of the softer moments on the album. ‘You’ve Made It This Far’ will encourage you to seek answers in your own mind, through its uplifting, explosive rock style emanating from the getgo. Nowhere near the heavy styles from earlier on, it does give off a similar vibe to what we heard from Escape the Fate and Atreyu earlier in the year. Title track ‘See What’s On The Inside’ is soul-soothing with its brooding emo-rock melody shedding light on looking inwards towards your soul.
Heavy riff energy does return towards the end of the album though, with ‘Misery Loves Company’ bringing back the punchiness with an infectiously heavy riff akin to what I’ve been hearing come out of the UK music scene this year. I enjoyed the universality of this track with each listen as I hit repeat, and how they’re throwing massive rock/punk/metal styles together into a fiery melting pot. Was guitarist Ben Bruce inspired by his recent acting endeavours with Paradise City on this next track? Maybe. But while ‘Fame’ made for a cheeky twist into metal-infused rock’n’roll and didn’t feel as strong as other tracks, I kinda saw it as Asking Alexandria’s way of rocking out and having fun with the music. The heart-racing, throttling melodies of ‘The Grey’ leaves the record on a solid finish, almost as strong as it began.
See What’s On the Inside sees Asking Alexandria make a promising return to familiarity, producing some of their strongest tracks in the past four years. I definitely found this album a little more rounded and enjoyable than last year’s release and you can tell that they’ve stripped it back, honed in on their roots and thought real hard about where they’d like to see themselves in the scene from here. No longer the same band from 2009, Asking Alexandria have established their musical style down melodically-driven paths and pulling at some deep emotions which will leave you feeling inspired. While they’re yet to find that perfect harmony in their music to please everyone, this album does push them forward in the right direction for future releases.
Asking Alexandria – See What’s On the Inside tracklisting:
2. Alone Again
3. Faded Out
4. Never Gonna Learn
5. If I Could Erase It
6. Find Myself
7. You’ve Made It This Far
8. See What’s On The Inside
9. Misery Loves Company
11. The Grey