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Circa Survive Announce US Tour With Thrice

CircaSurvive-Thrice-AdMatCirca Survive are gearing up for a massive 2017, having just revealed the impending release of their new album, The Amulet, that is due out September 22nd via Hopeless Records, and released the album’s first single, Lustration, Circa Survive are currently on tour with AFI and have now announced a full US co-headlining tour in the Fall with Thrice. Unconventional guitar music seems to have been forced back into the underground in 2017, but Circa Survive still seeks to bring big intricate riffs and even bigger concepts to a broad audience. The band has always dared to find a balance between grand scope and accessibility, and The Amulet finds the band achieving this difficult goal more than ever.

The Amulet can be pre-ordered here

You can view the video for Lustration, and Circa Survive‘s tour dates, below Read More…

Video: AFI – Hidden Knives

AFIAFI has premiered a new music video for the song “Hidden Knives,” which appears on their tenth studio album, AFI (The Blood Album).  The album dropped back on January 20, 2017.  The disc follows 2013’s Burials.

Watch the video here courtesy NME.

   

Tours: AFI / Circa Survive

AFIAFI has announced that they will be heading on tour with Cirxa Survive in July.  AFI continues to support their latest album, AFI (The Blood Album), which dropped back on January 20, 2017.  The disc follows 2013’s Burials.

Tour dates are below.

Read More…

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Video: AFI – Aurelia

AFIAFI has premiered a new music video for the song “Aurelia,” which appears on their tenth studio album, AFI (The Blood Album).  The album dropped back on January 20, 2017.  The disc follows 2013’s Burials.

Watch the video below.

Read More…

   
AFI

AFI

Live in Vancouver (01/24/17)

Commodore Ballroom - Vancouver, BC
By

 
 

 

 

During one of their first stops on the Blood Album tour, AFI did something I almost never see: they played a real, genuine encore Tuesday night in Vancouver.

In the fourteen years of going to concerts, I can think of maybe two other instances where a band did an unplanned encore. Strike Anywhere at Avenue Skatepark and Beach Slang at The Cobalt. Otherwise, they’re always written into the set list. They’re structured and predictable to the point where bands make fun of the idiocy of them and the crowd cheers them on.

AFI planned their encore but then went a step further.

The second the opening chords of Miss Murder echoed through the Commodore Ballroom, the crowd erupted, the floor bounced, and you know it was it. It had been an hour, this was their biggest single of their career; so set-list wise, it made sense to place this as the final song of their regular set. And it was. The band pounded it out, the crowd sung back to Davey Havoc and his comrades and then the four musicians walked off stage. Thirty seconds of chanting accompanied by blinding flashing lights and Havoc alongside guitarist Jade Puget strolled across the stage to croon The Leaving Song to the audience.

It was soft, soothing and powerful – leading nicely into Silver and Cold before saying their final farewell. They stood, they bowed, they shook hands, waved and said goodnights. The houselights turned up, the roadies started packing up gear but the crowd just stood. They chanted “One more song! One more Song! One More Song!” and then the roadies were confused. Looking to the side, they got the cue to start plugging gear back in. The houselights dimmed and AFI were back. They huddled centre stage, talking amongst themselves, figuring out what to do. Havoc turned to the crowd “Wow, a real encore – this is nice” and then jumped into The Art of Drowning‘s The Lost Souls.

It was sincere. Honest. Real. Unplanned.

The crowd begged for more and the band delivered and in a time when everything is always so structured, choreographed and orchestrated – it’s nice to see AFI carrying on their punk torch.

Because no matter their evolution, AFI are at their hearts a hardcore band. Decked in all black, the quartet plays like a hardcore band even as their style has developed into emo and goth and rock territories. Havoc is an impeccable front man, his shadow projected on the illuminated screen behind him. He swings his mic with abandon, storms all over the stage, delivers blood curling screams and soaring falsettos, spits words with the speed of a viper or elongates and enunciates each specific syllable.  It’s a wide reaching style, punctuated after each song by tossing the microphone to the floor.

The highlight came during I Hope You Suffer when he not only stepped into the crowd, but eventually crawled on top and stood on them, thrusting the mic down so everyone can sing. It was a sight to see – he’s done it before, but it still carries the same sense of awe every time he does it.

Moments like this made up for the somewhat lack luster sound that hindered the set all night. The mix seemed muffled as they flipped through tracks like 17 Crimes, Beautiful Thieves, The Days of the Phoenix, Girls Not Grey, This Celluloid Dream and a few newer cuts such as Dumb Kids or Snow Cats. It failed to let Havoc’s voice truly soar the way it was meant to be heard.

Years from now you won’t remember  the sound quality though, you’ll look back and remember the true encore – the unexpected moments that concerts live and die upon.

   

Video: AFI – Snow Cats

AFIAFI has premiered a new music video for the song “Snow Cats,” which is slated to appear on their tenth studio album, AFI (The Blood Album).  The album is set to drop on January 20, 2017.  The disc follows 2013’s Burials.

Watch the video here.

 

   

Video: AFI – White Offerings

AFIAFI has premiered a new music video for the song “White Offerings,” which is slated to appear on their tenth studio album, AFI (The Blood Album).  The album is set to drop on January 20, 2017.  The disc follows 2013’s Burials.

Watch the video here.

   

AFI Details Next Album; Streams Two Songs

 AFIAFI has just announced details for their tenth studio album.  The album will be titled AFI (The Blood Album) and is set to drop on January 20th, 2017.  The disc follows 2013’s Burials.

Coinciding with the announcement, the band is premiering the tracks “Snow Cats” and “White Offerings”, which can be streamed below.

Read More…

   

Davey Havok and Jade Puget Announce New Hardcore Project XTRMST

XTRMSTAFI lead vocalist Davey Havok and guitarist Jade Puget have announced the birth of a brand new straight-edge band.  The project will be titled XTRMST, with the self-titled debut album due out November 18, 2014 via Dim Mak Records.  Havok comments on the duo’s choice of genre:

“Jade and I have been talking about starting a straight edge hardcore band for years… We started writing and recording in early 2012 and chose the name XTRMST because it expresses the messages represented on the record. The straight edge movement is not one of moderation. It’s based in undeniable objective truths.”

Puget elaborates:

“The straight edge philosophy is something that Davey and I gravitated towards at a young age, drawn by concepts and ideals that seem almost foreign in modern society… Like much of the other subcultures we were a part of growing up, it put us at odds with 99% of the people around us, which was something we embraced. Being sXe for over 20 years and being musicians, it seemed natural that this crucial ideology would find a musical expression.”

The first single from the album, “Conformist,” will be available next Tuesday. For now, stream the band’s first track, “Words For The Unwanted,” here.

AFI Want Fan Films For New Video

AFICalifornia alt rockers AFI are reaching out to their fans to help create the video for their song A Slow Deep Panic, which is taken from their 2013 record Burials. 

The band are asking fans to submit 45 second video clips based around one of four themes;  PANIC, ANXIETY, COLLAPSE and LOSS OF SELF. All submissions will be available on their website and the final selections will feature in the official video. For more details on how to submit your video, go to afireinside.net.

The band are also out on the road in support of Burials, with a number of US dates later in the year alongside 30 Seconds to Mars and Linkin Park. Dates can be found below:

Read More…

AFI - Burials

AFI

Burials

Reprise Records
By

Rating: 5/5

 
 

 

 

Twenty seconds into the lead track from the new AFI disc, listeners may find themselves checking to see if they accidentally put on a lost Type O Negative track. Davey Havok’s voice defies his minuscule physical frame, bringing forth images of a muscular Peter Steele zombie ravaging a recording studio in hell. The Sinking Night is easily the most metal AFI track ever released, the moody depression oozing from the speakers as the gothic refrain sludges forward, creeping toward a climax that never comes. Thus, we are introduced to the new AFI, a constantly evolving band.

Burials as a whole is a step away from the glam rock that was Crash Love. They amp up the rock on I Hope You Suffer, an angst ridden arena rocker in the vein of Nine Inch Nails. They flirt with pop punk on A Deep Slow Panic, a catchy song with plenty of hooks that emphasizes Havok’s familiar soaring vocals, underscoring his impressive range. They return to gothic rock on The Embrace. Flashes of industrial anchor The Conductor, which is a rock song with plenty of attitude. Never content to settle into a single genre, they touch upon 80s influences sparingly throughout, most evidently in the dance pop of Wild. Former tourmates Tegan & Sara could comfortably cover the catchy pop anthem Heart Stops.  Straightforward punk songs like Greater Than 84 are classic AFI, with plenty of whoas in the background. The 13th track, The Face Beneath the Waves reaches for epic levels with soaring melodies amid plenty of doom filled soundscapes. The final track is also the longest, clocking in at over 5 minutes.

Thematically, the album is dark, even when the music is not. Havok has tapped the figurative vein and bled all over this album, exposing his deepest emotions. These are not horror punk clichés, going for shock over substance. These are bare all confessions put out for the whole world to hear, fitting for a group whose fans belong to the Despair Faction.

Burials is a grandiose rock album, showcasing a talented group of individuals who continue to explore the depths of their music. Their sound contains elements of their hardcore roots, 80s Goth, horror punk and virtually every other genre they’ve been exposed to over the years. They capture the highlights of what they like and mold it into the scope of AFI, tossing the unnecessary and distilling the sounds until they create their own signature sound. The current lineup has been together for more than a decade and their comfort with each other is evident. Experimentation stops short of weighing down the music, ensuring that there is always a recognizable “AFI” sound at the root of the songs. Their sound has evolved to a place that few would have guessed back in 95, but Burials proves that they still have great music to share. 

AFI – No Resurrection

AFIAFI has premiered the new song “No Resurrection.”  The track comes from the new album Burials, that will be released on October 22nd through Republic Records

Listen to the track here.

Live Concert Review

AFI

Live in Edmonton (December 18th, 2009)

Shaw Conference Centre - Edmonton, Alberta
By

 
 

 

 

Before the fifth annual Jingle Bell Rock show in Edmonton I sat down with Jade Puget and Hunter of AFI for an interview. In the interview we talked a bit about fans expectations, on their complaints that a band always sounded better “on their earlier stuff” to which Hunter commented that no matter what happens, nothing will ever beat the first time you were introduced to a band. CDs released before or after that first introduction may be better in one way or another but to that listener there is some morsel of intrinsic value associated with the first discovery that will never be surpassed; and as AFI rocked the proverbial house last night at the Shaw Conference Centre I couldn’t help but think he was right.

The first Jingle Bell Rock was back in 2005 and was, for all intensive purposes, completely epic. There were giant inflatable snowmen, Christmas decorations and a fantastical stage setup that, probably, led to the power going on two songs into the headliner’s set but even that made the night so much more memorable. Over the course of the next two years (I opted to skip last year’s festival since the band’s failed to interest me), Jingle Bell Rock never lived up to the initial offering. It was never anything to do with the shows – once the show was actually the best show of the year – but the Christmas theme slowly evaporated until last night where it was no where to be seen. While the stage setup and decorations never have any impact on the band’s performance, every time I think about Jingle Bell Rock I think of the inflatable snowmen and fake Christmas candles and their continual absence is saddening. Still, the stage is just a platform for what people really pay to see: the band; and after playing shows for more than eighteen years, AFI knows how to put on a good show.

Opening with some thunderous drums and glowing red lights, the Californian punk band jumped straight into The Torch Song and continued with little to no breaks for the entire hour long set. The band was decked mostly all in black, creating a nice contrast to the blistering white logo in the backdrop. Davey Havoc sported the only color in the band in the form of a shimmering gold suit as he channeled the spirit of David Bowie; but a David Bowie who wasn’t afraid to let a blood curling scream go every once in a while amidst some of the bands’ heavier cuts like Love Is A Many Splendored Thing and Kill Caustic. But even though Havoc’s vocals were strong no matter the range, be it the alt-rock Girls Not Grey or electro ballad Love Like Winter, he was occasional drowned out by Puget’s blistering guitar work which happened a few too many times for comfort.

As for the guitarists, Puget and Hunter were a never ending source of energy, suddenly exploding and crisscrossing the stage at a moment’s notice and even drummer Adam Carson stepped out from behind the kit to play some percussion during one song. They worked together, playing mostly new songs and a cover of The Cure‘s Just Like Heaven, and captured the crowd’s attention without the need for any gimmicks or pointless banter to create a nice send-off to 2009.

But just like Hunter said, people will always say they liked their first introduction better. For Jingle Bell Rock, the inaugural show with Rise Against will never be beaten and for an AFI show itself, I’ll have to pull out the old standard and say they were better last time they were in Edmonton in 2007; and I doubt anything will beat their 2003 show, a show I missed but one that people still talk about as they fondly remember the time Havoc walked, fully upright, across and on top of the crowd – a feat I hope to see him repeat one day.

Set list:

  1. Torch Song
  2. Girl’s Not Grey
  3. The Leaving Song Pt. II
  4. Veronica Sawyer Smokes
  5. Ever And A Day
  6. Kill Caustic
  7. End Transmission
  8. Love Is A Many Splendored Thing
  9. Beautiful Thieves
  10. Dancing Through Sunday
  11. Just Like Heaven (The Cure cover)
  12. On the Arrow
  13. Death of Seasons
  14. Medicate
  15. Miss Murder
  16. Encore:
  17. Too Shy to Scream
  18. Love Like Winter
  19. Silver and Cold
   

Videos: AFI – 17 Crimes

AFIAFI have posted a video for their new single 17 Crimes – it can be seen below.

The track comes from their upcoming album, Burials, that will be released on October 22nd through Republic Records. On top of that, the single will also appear in the new feature film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones as the end title track.

17 Crimes is the second single from their Gil Norton produced album, following I Hope You Suffer which can also be seen below.

AFI‘s headlining North American tour kicks off on September 12th in Minneapolis.

Read More…

   

AFI – 17 Crimes

AFIAFI has premiered another new song from their upcoming new full length.  The song is titled “17 Crimes” and is set to appear on the currently untitled effort, which is expected to drop sometime later this year.  The album will follow 2009’s Crash Love.

Listen to the song below.

Read More…

   

Lyric Video: AFI – I Hope You Suffer

AFIAFI has released an accompanying lyric video for their new song “I Hope You Suffer,” which is set to appear on the currently untitled effort, which is expected to drop sometime later this year.  The album will follow 2009’s Crash Love.

Watch the video below.

Read More…

   

AFI – I Hope You Suffer

AFIAFI has premiered the first new song from their upcoming new full length.  The song is titled “I Hope You Suffer” and is set to appear on the currently untitled effort, which is expected to drop sometime later this year.  The album will follow 2009’s Crash Love.

Listen to the song below.

Read More…

   
AFI - I Heard A Voice [DVD]

AFI

I Heard A Voice [DVD]

Interscope Records
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

After releasing 7 albums, AFI finally released a live DVD that happens to showcase their largest headlining concert to date. Playing at Long Beach Arena in front of around 15,000 fans, AFI manage to deliver near flawless rendition’s of many fan favourite tracks from Decemberunderground and Sing The Sorrow with a couple tracks from older albums to please dedicated longtime fans too. I don’t consider myself a huge AFI fan but I enjoy some of their songs and was impressed with Decemberunderground, however after being stunned by “I Heard A Voice“, I have a deeper appreciation for the band. From the opening notes of “Prelude 12/21” to the last gasping breath in “Miss Murder” each member of the band give their all in a very dramatic and thrilling show.

It all begins with the stage covered by a large white sheet with a single bright light emitting from behind the sheet to reveal the silhouette of Davey Havok as he sings the opening lines to “Prelude 12/21″. Holding the crowd in anticipation a scream erupts as the sheet drops to reveal Jade, Adam and Hunter all dressed in white on stage in front of leafless trees covered in white lights complimented by spotlights that swirl and bounce on stage parallel to the feel of the music. Visually AFI have nailed it. They perfectly create diverse moods to accompany each song using lighting, stage props and a large video screen that accentuates what’s being played. The visuals are really engaging to watch while the band members energetically perform astounding performances of nearly every fans favourite songs. I was really blown away by how good each song sounds, from the drums to the vocals and even the slight guitar and bass effects that I’ve never noticed on the album versions, everything is executed soundly while retaining a raw live feel. This is all filmed in high quality with camera angles and shots that capture the intensity as they highlight each member of AFI while flashing to the audience screaming each lyric right back. Subtle camera tricks such as slow motion and a layering effect are also used throughout the show adding a nice touch to the already artistic stage presentation. The producers have done a fantastic job and “I Heard A Voice” is AFI‘s live show captured in it’s full glory.

I’d have to say, this is one of the most impressive concert DVD’s I have seen. Davey Havok is a very dramatic frontman and displays his emotions boldly in front of very effective lighting and props. He rarely speaks to the crowd through the 18 song set but holds the audience in his hand with his stage presence and powerful performance. I can’t recommend this DVD highly enough to anyone at all who likes AFI. It’s a very illustrative presentation and a full show that really needs to be seen as well as heard, and one that can be watched over and over. The sound, the visuals, the filming, the editing and the presentation.. It’s all awe-inspiring.

Highlights And Extra’s
Short interviews with band members and Despair Faction members
Photo Collage with fans (really small pictures you’ll need a bigscreen to see them)
Easter Egg : 4 eerie short films featuring members of AFI (they don’t make any sense to me)
Guest apearance by Nick 13 of Tiger Army on A Single Second
Snow falling in Love Like Winter (It’s actually paper but it looks awesome)
Davey Havok possible mistake on Silver And Cold (2nd chorus near the end he lets out a yelp at the end of a note)

AFI - I Heard A Voice - Live From Long Beach Arena

AFI

I Heard A Voice - Live From Long Beach Arena

Interscope Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

I Heard A Voice – Life From Long Beach Arena came as a bit of a surprise to most people. Despite the well known status of the band, no one knew about the band’s decision to release a live album until a few weeks before the record actually hit stores. You would have thought that whispers of the release would have made it’s way through to the internet, but they didn’t (or if they did, I certainly missed it). In a way though, it makes sense that AFI would be able to release the live album without much information being leaked; after all, I Heard A Voice was already completed and released in a different format close to a year ago.

You see, I Heard A Voice is the CD companion to last December’s DVD of the same name. Only, instead of a video documentation of the night of the band’s largest headlining show to date, it is the sonic documentation of the evening. This means that anyone who had decided to steer clear of the DVD release due to a lack or love for the format can now bring the same performance home in CD form instead while anyone who owns or has seen the DVD will know exactly what they’re getting with the album.

What they are getting is a perfectly recorded AFI live show; and when I say perfectly recorded, I mean it. The production of the album is fantastic. Everything fits into the mix seamlessly, the audio is crystal clear and every element of the band’s performance is evenly leveled as if it was a studio recording. That’s not saying it sounds overly produced or that it doesn’t sound like a live album, far from it. I Heard A Voicesuccessfully fits the crowd participation into the record, something that many live albums fail to do – Sum41 and Against Me!‘s recent live albums being two prime examples of that failure. The crowd’s singing voices can be heard alongside Havoc’s vocals while little comments like “I Love You!” can also be heard faintly in the background on songs like This Time Imperfect.

As far as song selection goes, the band tends to stick to songs from Decemberunderground and Sing The Sorrow since the show was in support of the former record. Conversely, they do have a select few older cuts too. On top of the staples songs like God Called In Sick Today from Black Sails In The Sunset and The Days Of The Phoenix from The Art Of Drowning, they also pull in the help from Nick 13 (Tiger Army) for A Single Second off of Shut Your Mouth & Open Your Eyes. Other than that though, the remaining fifteen songs are split between the band’s last two albums; so if you’re gonna pick up the release make sure you’ve accepted the band’s new direction.

Sonically, this is easily one of the most impressive live albums I’ve heard in a very long time. It loses some points for the fact that it’s already been released in DVD form but chances are I’ll listen to this more than I would watch the DVD, so that’s only a slight negative which leaves you with only two things to consider when buying I Heard A Voice: 1) Do I like live CDs? (many people don’t) and 2) do I likeDecemberunderground and Sing The Sorrow? If the answer to both of those are yes, then pick it up; if the answer to either of them is no, then leave it on the self and move on to something else.

AFI - Decemberunderground

AFI

Decemberunderground

Interscope Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

A bunch of my friends hate change. They hate evolution in a band’s music. They want to hear the band come out with the same album they released in their “glory years” – and yet, they get tired of listening to the same album over and over again and complain when a band releases a new CD with songs that sound exactly the same as their old stuff. It really makes no sense. So of course, they bitch, moan and complain about Decemberunderground – and yet they’ll still listen to it constantly, wear the band’s shirts and call them the greatest band of all time. But until the day they die, they’ll always say this CD sucks and will never understand why a band needs to change and evolve between albums. Not only to keep themselves happy, but to be true to the fans who would easily hear it if the band was cheating them and just spitting out the same songs that they did on the last album. The fact is, AFI have evolved, and once you accept that, you will hear a great album.

Now, I’ve never been a huge fan of AFI – I like their stuff when I hear it, I’m excited to see them live in a month, and I like quite a few of their songs, but to say I know every song in their back catalog would be a complete and total lie. But still, I know the general theme behind the band, and somehow, Decemberunderground is exactly what I thought it would be. And oddly enough, the one song that would probably fit into the band’s back catalogue easiest, and the only track my friends claim to like, is probably the one track that is most misplaced on the entire album. The harder Kill Caustic shows that Havoc can still belt out some screams in the vein of Atreyu, but it just doesn’t fit in the album spectrum. In fact, the Green Day-esque single seems more appropriate here.

The songs are more technical then before, songs like Love Like Winter are covered in a heavily affected guitars, and while it seems like it could be horrible, it works so well you can’t get it out of your head.37mm sounds almost electronic at one point while the five minute long Affliction ends with a girl talking over a repeated melody, and even though people complain about the length and calling it “boring” – it fits the album perfectly and is far from boring. It is more epic and in touch with the more technical and experimental side that the band has shown on Decemberunderground. That’s not saying they’re stuck to super long epics either as they spit out the two and a half minute Love Like Winter and the phenomenal minute thirty opener, Prelude 12/21 – who’s drumming/clapping pattern leads the listener into the album in the best way possible.

It’s evident that the songs aren’t nearly as rough as the band’s older material. It’s not as quick, nor as choppy, and raw. Instead, it’s more produced, slicker and smoother – very different from the times of Shut Your Mouth & Open Your Eyes. It suits the band now and when it all comes down to it, half of AFI‘s old fans will bitch and complain about this album – I know a handful of my friends do. But the fact of the matter is this, in one month AFI are coming to town and each and everyone one of those complainers are already lining up to buy tickets. They will go to the show and sing along to every lyric – new and old. They will dance and have the best night of the summer and talk about the show for months afterwards. They will still complain about Decemberunderground but somewhere deep inside them they will understand that it was the natural progression the band needed to take – to spit out the same album would just be cheating everyone. They will wait for the band’s next album, to then complain and say how much better Decemberunderground was. Because after all, in the punk scene, it’s a circle of hate with a inner layer of love for everything you claim to hate. I mean, if you claim to like everything, where’s your scene cred?

AFI - Crash Love

AFI

Crash Love

DGC Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Since signing with the big leagues back in 2003, each subsequent AFI album has found their legions of adoring fans, old and new, begging the question, “have they sold out yet?”  But time and again, starting with 2003’s Sing The Sorrow and later 2006’s Decemberunderground, each passing album has proven that the band can overcome their fans’ skepticism and offer something both original and true to their roots.  Their latest effort, Crash Love, is no different.

Crash Love is somewhat of a departure from AFI’s past major label works.  Sing The Sorrow introduced the band to goth driven, atmospheric punk, follow-up Decemberunderground fusing the goth thing with glossy 80’s synth pop, Crash Love draws its inspiration from deep within the band’s discography.  While not really a return to their oft-touted Nitro Records days, Crash Love marks the band’s return to guitar driven punk rock with teeth.  That isn’t to say that AFI has abandoned their carefully crafted goth persona, there remains a crisp choir of haunting background voices on tracks like “Torch Song,” but these effects are used sparingly, as to avoid compromising their new centerpiece.

I can only imagine that while in the studio the album’s guitar work must have had lead guitarist Jade Puget frothing at the mouth.  After two comparatively tame albums, Puget returns to the razor sharp rock riffs and raw intensity last seen nine years ago on 2000’s The Art of Drowning.  Tracks like “Beautiful Thieves,” featuring a slow but aggressive tempo, might have sounded relatively low key had they appeared on past albums, but here Puget takes control of the track with very punchy results.  Even their poppier tracks like “Veronica Sawyer Smokes” and the infectious toe tapper “Too Shy To Scream” feature constant reminders in verse and chorus that Crash Love is, at its heart, a rock album.

Crash Love’s only major stumbling point surfaces during its quieter moments.  Without the glossy atmosphere of previous records, tracks like “Darling, I Want To Destroy You” feel a tad empty.  While vocalist Davey Havok’s voice typically soared during these moments, here they feel uncharacteristically scaled back.  This wouldn’t have been an issue had any of the other band members stepped up, but even Puget’s enthusiasm doesn’t shine through.  Still, this is a minor point and by no means ruins the album.

Overall, Crash Love is a refreshing counterbalance to AFI’s previous major label releases.  While Sing The Sorrow and Decemberundergound crafted a unique goth atmosphere, at the onset of Crash Love’s announcement I couldn’t help but wonder how much further they could truly develop this sound.  Insightfully, AFI opted to keep things fresher than ever by taking a new direction, and it paid off.  Like with mostAFI releases, Crash Love comes as an easy recommendation.

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AFI - AFI

AFI

Self-Titled

Nitro Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

I was never a fan of AFI. Although I knew that it was an acronym for A Fire Inside, and my old band did play a few of their songs as covers. I was aware of them and their songs did sometimes end up in my head, I still was never a fan of theirs, never bought an album or went to a show, never sung along to their song on the radio. But still I knew there was something special about them that went beyond the mass of kids claiming them as their icons and molding their own looks after Davey Havok‘s. There was something in the music and something in his voice that made AFI worth listening to, but I never pursued it. But now Nitro Records are here presenting the world with AFI before they made their way to the mainstream world. A fifteen song collection that is impressive to say the least. A collection that has made an impression on me, a non-fan.

The album runs in reverse chronological order of release, from the first track The Lost Souls which appeared on their 2000 release The Art Of Drowning to the last tracks from 1996’s Very Proud Of Ya. The collection even includes some rare vinyl only songs appearing for the first time on compact disc. For people who only know AFI from their recent fame on radio and television and are wondering why there aren’t any songs from Sing The Sorrow on here, it’s because this is a Nitro Records release showcasing the early years, plus their latest record was put out my a different label. You may even be asking about the existent of AFI before Sing The Sorrow, being completely ignorant to their early career. If you are one of these people, the ones who are in love with AFI now but haven’t heard the old songs, It’s pretty obvious that you should go out and get this album. It’s definitely a cheaper and easier way to get to know the material and see how they’ve changed rather than going out and buying their entire catalogue (though maybe you will do that once you hear these songs).

My personal favorites from this collection are God Called In Sick TodayTotalimmortal and The Days Of The Phoenix. The three of these songs appear on three different records, which shows you that this is a band that stays consistent over time, continuing to make good music. While listening to this I finally start to see what the hype is all about. It’s not as if there is complete and utter originality within the songs themselves, but they’re incredibly well put together and entertaining to listen to. What I always considered to be generic rock with nothing behind it I am now seeing as solid music worth my time. They aren’t a one song, or even a one album, band. They are a band for all time, who have continued to make good songs time after time.

I’m not sure exactly where I stand with this band, but one thing I am sure of is this collection has made me see that there is definitely something worth listening to in AFI. For fans of the band this is a great package of great songs, and the booklet is very well thought out, including pictures relating to each of the old album covers. For new fans within the recent years or even people who have never listened to the band but have the interest, I recommend you pick this up and maybe it’ll have the same affect on you. Maybe you’ll begin to see that AFI is worth your attention.

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Blaqk Audio (AFI) Signs to Superball Music, Release New Song

Electronic duo Blaqk Audio, featuring Davey Havok and Jade Puget of AFI, have revealed that they will release their sophomore album, Bright Black Heaven, this fall through their new imprint – Big Death Records which is distributed through Superball Music.  Label head Thomas Waber commented:

“Signing Blaqk Audio and creating Big Death is a great way of expanding the horizon of Superball Music. Blaqk Audio are catchy and infectious and a great addition to our ever expanding roster.”

While the duo themselves added:

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Superball Music for the release of Bright Black Heaven and the premiere of Big Death. To be supported by a label built by true music fans is a refreshing pleasure. Together, we will bring our version of heaven to the world.”

Bright Black Heaven will be the follow up to their debut, CexCells, that was released on Interscope Records in 2007.  The Big Death/Superball Music debut is set for a 2012 release.  A free download of “Bliss,” one of the new songs that will be featured on Bright Black Heaven, is currently available here.

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Matt Skiba and the Sekrets – All Fall Down

MATT SKIBA AND THE SEKRETSMatt Skiba and the Sekrets, the new side project from Alkaline Trio frontman Matt Skiba alongside AFI bassist Hunter Burgan and My Chemical Romance drummer Jarrod Alexander, have released their first new song – All Fall Down.

The song can be heard here.

The track will appear on their debut album, Babylon, which will be available on May 8th.

Tim Timebomb’s Rocknroll Theater (Rancid and AFI)

Tim TimebombTim Armstrong of Rancid has posted the first episode in his new webseries, Tim Timebomb’s RockNRoll Theater. The first episode entitled “Dante” is available online and brings the 14th Century epic poem Dante’s Inferno, roaring into the 21st century with a new take on greed and corporate corruption. “Dante” stars AFI frontman Davey Havok, guitarist and vocalist Lars Frederiksen of Rancid, and actor Robert David Hall known for his work on CSI. 

Homage to the classic American Musicals, each episode in Tim Timebomb’s RockNRoll Theater  features extensive song and dance numbers with hard-hitting rock musical songs and rousing dance numbers all wrapped in a dark edge all written by Armstrong. Armstrong explained:

“I’ll play music til the day I die, and this takes everything in an exciting new direction. I love collaborating with other artists and all I want to do is continue to make these episodes.  That’s the spirit of the project.”

You can watch the episode here.

Tim Timebomb's Rocknroll Theater (Rancid and AFI)

Tim TimebombTim Armstrong of Rancid has posted the first episode in his new webseries, Tim Timebomb’s RockNRoll Theater. The first episode entitled “Dante” is available online and brings the 14th Century epic poem Dante’s Inferno, roaring into the 21st century with a new take on greed and corporate corruption. “Dante” stars AFI frontman Davey Havok, guitarist and vocalist Lars Frederiksen of Rancid, and actor Robert David Hall known for his work on CSI. 

Homage to the classic American Musicals, each episode in Tim Timebomb’s RockNRoll Theater  features extensive song and dance numbers with hard-hitting rock musical songs and rousing dance numbers all wrapped in a dark edge all written by Armstrong. Armstrong explained:

“I’ll play music til the day I die, and this takes everything in an exciting new direction. I love collaborating with other artists and all I want to do is continue to make these episodes.  That’s the spirit of the project.”

You can watch the episode here.

Listen To We Did Alright From The Premiere Episode of Tim Armstrong’s Musical

Rancid Tim Timebomb’s ROCKNROLL Theater, presented in partnership with VEVO, is an atmospheric, noir musical, with first class actors and killer dance numbers. The first episode, called “Dante”, features AFI frontman Davey Havok, actor Robert David Hall and Rancid‘s own vocalist and guitarist Lars Frederiksen.

Click here to listen to We Did Alright.

Listen To We Did Alright From The Premiere Episode of Tim Armstrong's Musical

Rancid Tim Timebomb’s ROCKNROLL Theater, presented in partnership with VEVO, is an atmospheric, noir musical, with first class actors and killer dance numbers. The first episode, called “Dante”, features AFI frontman Davey Havok, actor Robert David Hall and Rancid‘s own vocalist and guitarist Lars Frederiksen.

Click here to listen to We Did Alright.

AFI's Davey Havok To Star Alongside Rob Lowe In New Movie

Davey HavokIn a somewhat interesting turn, AFI‘s lead singer Davey Havok has been spotted on the set of new independent movie Knife Fight. Not much is known about the movie itself except that it’s currently in production and will be starring Rob Lowe. The blurb on the Facebook page for the movie reads “Knife Fight is about sex, drugs, money and how politics is really played-a knife fight in a telephone booth, where blood is spilled, low blows are common and the best candidate is not always the best person,” and photos of Davey on set and during filming have been revealed.

Perhaps it isn’t such a surprising choice for Davey, following his acting debut earlier this year as St Jimmy in the Broadway production of American Idiot, the Green Day musical.

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AFI’s Davey Havok To Star Alongside Rob Lowe In New Movie

Davey HavokIn a somewhat interesting turn, AFI‘s lead singer Davey Havok has been spotted on the set of new independent movie Knife Fight. Not much is known about the movie itself except that it’s currently in production and will be starring Rob Lowe. The blurb on the Facebook page for the movie reads “Knife Fight is about sex, drugs, money and how politics is really played-a knife fight in a telephone booth, where blood is spilled, low blows are common and the best candidate is not always the best person,” and photos of Davey on set and during filming have been revealed.

Perhaps it isn’t such a surprising choice for Davey, following his acting debut earlier this year as St Jimmy in the Broadway production of American Idiot, the Green Day musical.

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Davey Havok Talks Broadway Performance With Mark Hoppus

Davey HavokAs previously announcedAFI frontman, Davey Havok, will be hitting the Broadway stage next month as he takes on the role of St. Jimmy in the Green Day musical, “American Idiot“.

Havok sat down with Blink182‘s Mark Hoppus on the latest episode of “Hoppus on Music” to discuss the performance. Two clips from the show can be seen below while the full episode will air tonight, Friday, February 25th, at 11/10c on Fuse TV. Also on the show will be Fitz & the Tantrums.

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