If you're stuck in the middle of something, it invariably feels like you should be looking for an attitude to commit yourself to - as in politics, so in pop culture. With Alexisonfire's sophomore release, the instinct is to leave your critical faculties balancing in the middle of the see-saw. The very qualities that strengthened this screamo band's debut are intact: the music is anthemic, the screaming fury impossibly difficult to understand, and the lyrics (when discernable) slightly above par. But you need and expect more from a second outing. Early in a career, particularly a pop career, staying put is like sliding backwards. So by sounding more or less like any number of Hoobastanks, Linkin Parks, Evanescences or Deftones, without distinguishing themselves from that herd, Alexisonfire is doing little more than rockin' the middle ground.