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Asking Alexandria - Never Gonna Learn

Asking Alexandria
Never Gonna Learn
by Andrew Harvey at 29 April 2022, 7:17 AM

This band has been around for over 10 years but it is safe to say ASKING ALEXANDRIA has really built up a huge fan base around the world, coming from the United Kingdom. They began their epic journey with their debut album STAND UP AND SCREAM in 2009 and then they produced a follow up album in 2011 with RECKLESS AND RELENTLESS. Their third album FROM DEATH TO DESTINY arrived in 2013 which was closely followed by THE BLACK in 2016. They also had a self titled LP in 2017 and more recently in 2020, their next album was LIKE A HOUSE ON FIRE.

Last year saw their latest album SEE WHAT’S ON THE INSIDE which is their seventh release to date. The lineup though has not changed at all sticking to their original members with; DANNY WORSNOP on lead vocals, BEN BRUCE on guitar/backing vocals, CAMERON LIDDELL on guitar, SAM BETTLEY on bass guitar and JAMES CASSELLS on the drums. Now the band have released their EP which is titled NEVER GONNA LEARN containing 4 tracks, two of these are new but the other two are from their most recent album SEE WHAT’S ON THE INSIDE.

So starting with the intro track “New Devil” which also features a guest appearance by female vocalist MARIA BLINK of IN THIS MOMENT. It’s definitely blending elements of alternative rock, indie rock and heavy metal but this track would certainly take the listener back to the early days of the band’s music from their first two albums. It’s also my favourite of the four as it really does bring out the best of what the band has done before and it is evident that this track means they are going to be sticking around for a few more years.

The guitar in this track especially blasts through with drums reinforcing the hard rock approach with MARIA BLINK’S vocals adds so much to this track making this a belter of an intro. But now we move onto the second track from their previous album, the track titled “Never Gonna Learn”. The lyrical content certainly reflects the song title and opens with whistling on top of a subtle drum pattern. The contrast between the different sections is well thought out but it almost sounded like there could have been two or three different approaches to this track from listening as there are two separate tracks being heard.

Maybe they should have been separate tracks but nevertheless this comes from their previous album. The third track is “Miles Away” which is very much like a rock ballad with lyrics that I can relate to, like the narrator is reflecting back on their past. But they are grateful for what has been done perhaps for the band, it could be a reflection on their long musical journey which has spanned over 10 years. The guitar in this track is mellow but swaying in from left to right with a gentle drum pattern to build a crescendo only for vocals to lead a louder section.

There is just a switch in dynamics ending on that mellow guitar sound from the start. “Find Myself” is another rock ballad to close the album, but I feel there is certainly a clear comparison to the voice of the legendary COREY TAYLOR of SLIPKNOT as to the clarity of words and beautiful melody of the vocals together with guitar in the quieter sections. The guitar is pretty well produced and the short solo is very effective. The contrast and dynamics is certainly interesting as drums or guitar lead the hard rock parts then guitar sets the tone for vocals to change its sound.

As I mentioned before with the third track it does sound like there are two or three different approaches here whereas the tracks certainly have their own sound. In comparison to their previous releases, there is certainly a pretty diverse mix of styles in the EP along with various themes. This is by far a new approach compared to their previous albums which have been mostly heavy rock with alternative or indie rock elements. The tempo also isn’t as fast as usual either, the first track sets the bar high enough with faster guitar riffs and drum patterns.

But then the tempo is certainly more moderate than going into the three tracks after the first. As I said before my favourite has to be more of what the first track sounded like the band’s roots were more developed. But in terms of the theme, then it changes in the other tracks where track two has this sound of more alternative rock in the intro where the lyrics are pointing towards old ASKING ALEXANDRIA, but then has this killer of a breakdown. Tracks three and four have more personal themes, where the narrator in track is feeling lost maybe, they got left behind by someone they considered a friend. Track four again sounds personal but it’s about regaining what was lost maybe in track three and going forward, maybe for the band this is their intentions.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. New Devil (feat. Maria Blink of In This Moment)
2. Never Gonna Learn
3. Miles Away
4. Find Myself
Lineup:
Danny Worsnop - Lead Vocals
Ben Bruce - Guitar and Backing Vocals
Cameron Liddell - Guitar
Sam Bettley - Bass Guitar
James Cassells - Drums
Record Label: Better Noise Music
     


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