Posts Tagged ‘AFI’

%22afi_the_blood_album%22_album_art

Southern California’s own AFI return with…(The Blood Album), their first in almost four years since the dense and very dark Burials. Since AFI’s 2003 breakthrough masterpiece Sing The Sorrow the band has shown us a multitude of styles and soundscapes in the form of Punk, Rock, Pop, Hardcore and beyond. This new installment is no slouch, adding to the bands now very versatile catalogue.

Once again as with Burials, (The Blood Album) shows guitarist, Jade Puget writing all the music for the group, this time however also at the helm producing the record. Much like the Davey/Jade side projects Puget continues to expand the reach and grasp of his monster talent. The album is beautifully produced and very clean with few peeks and valleys, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing with a record so accurately executed. Clearly drawing heavily on their new wave influences this album presents the listener with a bit of a sigh of relief as it’s predecessor was vast and brooding. Not that this one opens all the windows to let the sun in but it does relieve those of us that really appreciate the bands pop territories. This is also probably the closest they have come to the Sing The Sorrow sound in years.

“Blood” opens with the sonic seducer “Dark Snow” with the foursome setting the bar very high which they manage to maintain. The catchy sway of single “Snow Cats” is commercial without seeming lame. More tracks like “Hidden Knives”, will most likely become an AFI classic, both danceable and singable. It’s hard to find something really wrong with this contribution. In whole, the album is pleasantly haunting (“Above The Bridge”), nestled in punk roots (“Pink Eyes”) while remaining flavorfully accessible (“The Wind That Carries Me”).

Put quite simply, AFI is a band that can bend a genre without coming off contrived or insincere and at the same time able to easily return to any style they have showcased in their 25 plus year run. Kudos gents!

(The Blood Album) will enter billboard top 200 at number five. The bands highest charting record since DecemberUnderground.

Advertisements

XTRMST

Posted: December 10, 2014 in Blog, Music, Xtrmst
Tags: , , , , , ,

So, to have to “introduce” you to AFI would be something that sounds pretty silly being that they have been around since 1991 give or take and have had a few huge records in the past decade, specifically Decemberunderground which debuted at number 1 on Billboard in 2006…I say this because I want to get into a side project of Davey Havok and Jade Puget’s. Davey as you know has become an iconic singer and Jade, guitarist for AFI has proven over the last 8 years or so that he has become quite a force to tangle with both as a musician and producer.

The duo has ventured into another side project called XTRMST, different than AFI and the exact opposite of the duo’s other outing Blaqk Audio which is a dancey electronic venture.

Xtrmst album cover

Xtrmst album cover

XTRMST will go to show you that Davey still “has it” so to speak. People have complained for years how AFI left their punk roots, sold out, etc…I for one prefer what AFI has turned into, starting with the masterpiece Sing the Sorrow (2003) and onward.

XTRMST is an exercise in straight-edge hardcore turned up to 11. Mr. Havok has never sounded so full of rage, and it’s absolutely refreshing. Spitting “I fire on all five senses” in song “Extremist” and just letting us have it throughout the entire 14 tracks clocking in at 33 some odd minutes. Jade Puget’s guitar work has become something that really stands on its own, brilliant, subtle and complex at the same time. He has taken the horse by the reigns here, writing all the music, producing, recording and engineering. Same as he does with the Blaqk Audio records, Davey handling all the vocal and lyrical abilities. (Jade even wrote all the music for AFI’s latest offering, Burials)

Lyrically, XTRMST is absolutely letting you know that this is a certain kind of record if you will. Touting the straight-edge lifestyle to the nth degree, Davey and Jade both being as such and also vegans. “This is who I am!” screamed with conviction in opening track “Words for the Unwanted”. This is not an album made to draw in AFI fans; it’s specific in nature and in fact may even alienate some listeners. I myself am also straight edge and vegetarian and feel that a record like this is both appropriate and needed. Let’s face it, these guys don’t need to try and sell you a record. Here they are flaunting their art and expression and something they feel very strongly about.

The album was released a few weeks ago only on vinyl with a CD being included, but being very much an after thought. A small zine was also created to coincide with the record showcasing straight edge culture and people, artists, musicians that live this lifestyle. A video for “Conformist” was also released around the same time. The band will also be performing its first show this January in California. I’m hoping more dates will be announced…

XTRMST is dirty and dark, loud and powerful, running its nails down the backs of non believers and big talkers everywhere. “Raise the X!”

http://www.xtrmst.com