Today, ALEXISONFIRE unveil a second track from Otherness, their first full-length album in over 13 years. “Reverse The Curse” is a poetic commentary on facing one’s demons anchored by a gigantic, Kyuss-worshiping riff. Says George Pettit, “Some riffs stick around for a while until they make sense. ‘Reverse The Curse’ has existed in one form or another since Crisis. There was even a version that we used as the original ‘Young Cardinals’ but that one wasn’t meant to be. It found its way to creation during our covid rehearsals and I’m glad it’s finally coming to light.” Stream “Reverse The Curse” here.
Otherness will be released on June 24 via Dine Alone Records. The album features 10 new songs including the explosive first single, “Sweet Dreams Of Otherness” which can be heard here. The album is produced by AOF and mixed by punk stalwart Jonah Falco (Fucked Up, Chubby and the Gang).
Pre-orders for physical variants are available here. Each vinyl variant is 2×12” with a gatefold jacket and printed inner sleeves. A limited deluxe edition variant, with an alternate lenticular cover will also be available alongside curated Otherness merchandise. See below for details on all physical variants available for pre-order.
A video for “Sweet Dreams Of Otherness” directed by the inimitable actor/director Jay Baruchel (LOL: Last One Laughing Canada, Goon, This Is The End, Random Acts of Violence) premiered via Alexisonfire’s YouTube channel. Watch it here.
A continuous thread through the fabric of Alexisonfire is the state of otherness. Otherness drew us all to spaces where a band like this could be formed. We attract the type of individuals that have all felt the sensation of being strange or unique. Perceived or otherwise, otherness has followed us through childhood, adolescence, and into our adult lives. It drives our tastes and proclivities. It bonds us with ourselves and others. And make no mistake, even at our most domestic and mundane moments, we are true outliers.
Otherness is the band’s most cohesive and self-actualised record to date. For those who need a refresher, AOF released four hugely successful studio albums, all Music Canada Platinum-certified: Alexisonfire (2002), Watch Out (2004), Crisis (2006), and Old Crows / Young Cardinals (2009). Crisis debuted at #1 on the Top 200 Soundscan (Canada), and Old Crows / Young Cardinals debuted at #2, and charted at #9 on the US Billboard Independent Album chart. The number of albums made outside of Alexisonfire by different band members over the years – including City and Colour, Dead Tired, You+Me (with pop icon P!nk), Dooms Children, and Billy Talent – could fill several record store racks.
The mix of classic Alexisonfire and newfound textures of “Sweet Dreams Of Otherness” became a roadmap for the rest of the record. Dallas Green’s engaging croon; the urgent attitude of Wade MacNeil; the heavy bellow of George Pettit; all anchored by a mix of vulnerability, confidence, iconoclasm, and celebratory recklessness. As every Alexisonfire song persistently expands and contracts, bassist Chris Steele and drummer Jordan Hastings remain impossibly tight, locked into unrelenting swinging grooves.
Alexisonfire produced Otherness themselves in roughly a week. They kept it a “family affair,” working closely with folks who’ve been with them for years. Writing took place at the Dine Alone Records clubhouse. The album includes organ, keys, and pedal steel from Green’s longtime collaborator Matt Kelly. Jill Zimmerman and Darren “Jeter” Magierowski (who is also Steele’s cousin) engineered, at Jukasa Recording Studios.
“The biggest difference is the space we are all in. We were all really thrilled to make a record, and it was such a respite from what was going on in the world. It felt like life could be beautiful,” Wade MacNeil says. “We were supportive of one another. Everyone was in such a good mood. It was such a treat to be able to do it again.”
As Revolver Magazine noted in 2019: “It’s hard to overstate the influence Alexisonfire had in post-hardcore through the mid-2000s, their combination of singing and screaming setting the blueprint for many artists to come.” Five guys playing aggressive rock (with no less than three of them singing and screaming) grew to a hockey-arena headlining phenomenon while pushing and pulling between spirited guitar leads, melodic might, and emotional weight.
“As much as we love playing the old songs, we don’t want to be a nostalgia act. The only reason to come back is if we feel we still have something to say,” Pettit insists. “We spent so much time on the road thinking that if we stopped, people would lose interest. But when we went away, it only got bigger. We all carved new paths for ourselves, so coming back to Alexisonfire is a purely enjoyable creative venture. Something special happens when we get in a room together.”