By: Emily Zemler
Alexisonfire (pronounced “Alexis on fire,” not “Alex is on fire”) is named after a stripper’s website. Not just any stripper, but a lactating, contortionist stripper named Alexis Fire. The quintet formed in 2001 in St. Catherines, Ontario. After sacrificing online discoverability for a new name, Alexisonfire was forced to select a more generic (but by no means humble) URL: theonlybandever.com.
Four years later, with two albums of bright-eyed emo gems out on Equal Vision, another in the works, and a new drummer, Alexisonfire is maintaining between-album relevance with incessant touring and the release of a split EP on Vagrant with fellow Canadians Moneen. Rather than simply write and record new tracks, each band reimagines three of the other band’s songs in what they have termed a “switcheroo.” In this case, though, Alexisonfire gets the raw end of the deal, having to instill Moneen’s lackluster songs with an energy and fervor all their own. The a cappella breakdown on their cover of “Passing Out in America” sounds a little strange coming from a band that usually snarls and sneers. But, if anything, the EP offers a small taste of Alexisonfire’s harsh yelps and rising, melodic interludes.