Review: Bullet For My Valentine – Fever

First things first: I am easily influenced. Tell me cheese and marshmallows work well together and I’ll put them on a pizza. Tell me that cowboy boots don’t make me look like I’ve got rickets and I’ll wear them all day long. Tell me Bullet For My Valentine’s new album is marvellous and genre-defining, and I’ll go and buy it. In all three of these instances, I should’ve brutally attacked by whoever was putting such painful and ridiculous ideas into my young impressionable mind. Okay, so that’s a little over-dramatic – ‘The Fever’ isn’t as bad as spending an evening spewing up an unholy marshmallow/cheddar combo. In fact, it’s not ‘bad’ at all – it’s a perfectly good album. The problem lies in the hype surrounding it; with five star reviews left, right and centre, it’s hard not to get sucked in and think the answer to all your metal-y prayers has arrived, emblazoned with a lobster-lady.

First and foremost, one needs to accept that the Bullet for my Valentine found on ‘The Poison’ have left town without leaving a forwarding address. Indeed, both ‘Scream Aim Fire’ and ‘Fever’ lack that raw energy and freshness that both ‘Bullet for My Valentine’ and ‘The Poison’ seemed to possess so effortlessly. Negatives aside, both the production and the technical skill on the album are damn good. But for a band of this calibre, that should go without saying. Overall, the album is pretty catchy and such tracks as ‘Pleasure and Pain’, ‘Alone’ and the title track ‘Fever’ shine when played on a live platform and are real crowd pleasers- For those of us who saw their set at Download this year, such tracks seemed to fit effortlessly into the ‘live Bullet’ canon.

Sadly, while writing the lyrics for ‘Fever’, Matt Tuck underwent a surprise lobotomy courtesy of Kid Rock and all was lost. Indeed, it is a true tragedy in the metal world. In short, the lyrics in ‘Fever’ are dire. Should any further proof of Matt’s demise be required, one only need to glance at such lyric sheets as that belonging to the only real slow/ballad track on the album- ‘A Place Where You Belong’. The music itself is fine, nothing offensive there. But when the line ‘just kill me now and let the good times roll’ is delivered, one can hear a distinct wince from the rest of the studio. While ‘Alone’ is one of my personal favourites from the album, my brain does feel a little dirty when met with a chorus of ‘you can die and rot alone’. In truth, the whole album is swimming in cliché – so much so, that any truthful or sincere sentiments have been suffocated in melodramatic mediocrity.
While some songs such as ‘Bittersweet Memories’ and ‘Dignity’ are a little too weak to justify their place on the fourth release of such a successful band, others (despite their clichéd phrases and painful rhymes) such as ‘The Last Fight’ and ‘Your Betrayal’ prove to be meaty offerings with fabulous chant-like choruses that thrill the listener whether it’s being pumped through tinny laptop speakers or massive, bowel-destroying amps. My personal favourite from ‘Fever’ is the final track, ‘Pretty on the Outside’. It’s not the longest or rowdiest on the album, but it does display a great evolution in the sound of Bullet, and seems to represent all that the album should have been. It’s powerful, technically brilliant and there are no glib lyrics to detract from the compelling, complex musicianship that these lads from Bridgend have been hiding.
The mistakes on this album were clearly made as the band became aware of their audience, and are now pandering to what they believe their fans want from Bullet. If album sales are anything to go by, then they have succeeded in pleasing the masses, but in order to create and preserve a legacy for Bullet, they need to leave this new hollow mindset, and go back to their roots – there lie four very excitable and determined Welsh lads with an immense talent that should be cherished at all costs, and not adulterated to suit the masses.

Review: Betrayal Within The Ranks – s/t [EP]

When I hear bands such as Betrayal Within The Ranks, I always whip out my mental checklist- floppy hair? Check. Irritating youthfulness? Check. The first tentative beginnings of tattoo sleeves Check. Swathed in ‘Drop Dead’ clothing? Check and check again. It’d be easy to dismiss this Stoke-on-Trent based troupe as just another college ‘Bring Me The Horizon’ tribute band – a vehicle to expand their sexual horizons while upping their scene credibility- were it not for their sickening amount of talent. With the average age of members landing around the 17/18 mark, they really do make you wish you picked up that guitar a little earlier in life.

Their debut EP, a neat little self-titled affair consisting of three tracks, is one of the most exciting offerings from a young, unsigned band that I’ve heard in a long time. In recent years, metalcore has become a byword for style over substance, with hairstyles often pulling in more comment than any musical releases. Hence- finding a genuinely exciting or compelling release is a rare thing indeed.

‘Sunsets’, the opening track on ‘Betrayal Within The Ranks’ EP, does not sound like the composition of teens- the opening beefy riffs, bowel-renching bassline and surprisingly controlled vocals would fit comfortably in any big name release. Although ‘Sunsets’ could be seen to be lightweight in structural terms, it certainly is a substantially impressive opener.

‘What Happened To Forever’ is my personal favourite from this small EP. It really is a showcase of the band’s versatility in the genre, and also, of vocalist Jay Wilko’s range. Wilko’s screams and bowel-juddering growls are certainly impressive, and, should he be able to replicate these vocal changes perfectly on a live platform, he’d certainly have the opportunity to be a crowd-pleasing, energetic frontman. The technical skills shown by the rest of the band in ‘What Happened To Forever?’ cannot be ignored. Joe Devine’s bass and (now ex-member) Lee Bowen’s drum lines are so rich and heavy, you’d feel as though they could move houses. The guitar work on the EP is equally as accomplished, with Tom Kidd’s blistering riffs punching through each track. Although constant talk of youth can be tiresome (trust me- I feel like I should be picking up my pension while listening to these guys), I cannot reiterate enough how talented and dedicated these guys are- they really are musically accomplished beyond their years. You’d have to be deaf, blind and dumb not to realise that this band could really make waves in metalcore circles.

The EP ends with ‘Skin of a Killer’, a frenzied track with a killer guitar-line that should belong on everyone’s ipod. ‘Skin of a Killer’ is made for the stage, and with each breakdown, you can find yourself envisaging a wall of death or brutal circlepit. ‘Skin…’ is by far the best structured track on the band’s EP, with each verse comfortably nestled between breakdowns or a momentary solo. Although simple, this method is surprisingly effective, and as the track fades out, you’re left salivating for more.

As metalcore bands are ten-a-penny nowadays, it can take a lot to set one apart from the others, but ‘Betrayal Within The Ranks’ seem to do it effortlessly. If they can stay focused and stick together without burning up in the inevitable pressure-cooker environment of a fast-moving young band, they could go very, very far. Jammy buggers.

3.5 high fives!

A Short Guide To Anxiety Attacks by soufex

Originally by soufex, posted on 8/9/2009

I am 19 years old and I’ve been living with clinical depression for around five years or so, and since the age of sixteen I have been having anxiety attacks – ‘panic attacks’ – ranging from once a year to several times a day. In any case, they suck, and are horrible for everyone involved. Anything can trigger them off, and in my experience they have lasted from 10 minutes or so, to several hours. I’ve been a few types of medication for them. I’ve had them at shows, at work, on train journeys, and in my own bedroom; in the company of complete strangers, my girlfriend, or no one at all. Sometimes I can tell when I’m going to have one, and other times they sneak up on me out of nowhere. The experiences can differ from person to person, but there are a few things that essentially happen to everyone:

  • Hyperventilation or shortness of breath
  • Loss of concentration or track of time
  • Nausea-inducing fear and/or terror

(The last one might sound a little harsh, but anxiety attacks are pretty terrifying, and personally, very embarrassing; breaking down in public is not my thing at all.)

My experience of an anxiety attack, in retrospect, is usually the same (excluding the times where I’ve been kicked in the head, because you never see that coming unless a security guard leaps in front of you). For some time before the attack, I’m generally very quiet and my attention span is much shorter than usual, and I find myself distant from, or disinterested by my surroundings. I get snappy with people, lose my temper quickly, or become apathetic or ignorant to whatever is going on around me. (At the time I really don’t know I’m doing this, but I’ve been told that I tend to display the same behaviour, and after the attack I realise I’ve probably been a proper bitch to anyone who happened to cross my path, which usually happens to be my rather suffering but incredibly patient and loving girlfriend…) Then, for the next however long, my skin (especially around my face) becomes tingly, and I generally curl up into a little ball and cry and hyperventilate until the attack is over, in which I am left twitchy and exhausted for quite some time. (The only good thing about them is that I sleep like the dead when I go to bed after one.)

An anxiety attack is basically the body’s means of protecting itself against a situation it feels it can’t handle, and the body’s natural instinct is to brace, and try and get more oxygen into the bloodstream. With this in mind, the next part is much like an airline safety card. Life does not come equipped with safety cards, however, so here is a short guide to dealing with someone having a panic attack from my personal experiences:

  • Make sure they can breathe. Get an oxygen mask, take them outside or to a clear area, hold them so they can’t constrict their breathing – whatever works. However, because they’re freaking the fuck out, they probably won’t be listening to any offers of ‘breathe in slowly’, do bear this in mind.
  • Find a balance in your tone of voice and actions – be firm enough to try and get their attention, but not so much that make the situation worse – yelling at a person who’s freaking out anyway doesn’t do much good.
  • Be patient. It’s horrible being trapped inside a panic attack, and it’s horrible watching someone else stuck in one, but eventually it will end and they will calm down. Don’t try and move them straight away, because they’ll probably be exhausted and shaky and standing them up will probably mean they’ll just fall flat on their ass again and funny as it might look, it hurts.
  • This isn’t necessary, but is (probably) appreciated: I’ve yet to have a panic attack, or meet anyone that experiences them, and hasn’t sobbed their fucking guts out during the attack, so try and find something to wipe all the ick and snot away with, either during the attack (if you can get in there) to make it easier to breathe through the nose; or after the attack, just because it’s grim having your face, hands, shirt, knees, and everything else covered in watery slime.

I hope this is helpful to anyone – I’m sure those of you who live with, or are people who have anxiety attacks already know the drill pretty well, but personally an Idiot’s Guide To Anxiety Attacks would have been hella useful for me in the beginning!

PS. Further reading:
Panic Attack and Anxiety Awareness
Wikipedia’s article on anxiety attacks

Live: Against Me! – O2 Academy Birmingham 2, 3/6/10

Originally by Ripper, posted on 10/6/10.

On 31st October 2007, something momentous happened. Normally, Halloween is a very big deal for me. Everyone else’s favourite holiday is Christmas and shit like that, but I’m a huge advocate of Halloween. However, I forsook my usual party/trick or treating/movie fest (whatever my friends were into at that point in time) and went to go see Against Me! in Birmingham. I’d seen some shows in my time, but I’d never seen anything like that. And I met fightclubsandwich for the first time, but that’s a story for another time. Therefore, I went into this show with very high expectations and was fully prepared for disappointment. I was also bringing along a very sickly friend – Sarah had caught some stomach bug but wasn’t prepared to miss the show – and I had a shit ton of sunburn from an afternoon of watching people get drunk in a field. At the very least, it was going to be an interesting night, and I was comforted in the knowledge that fightclubsandwich would be there with her boyfriend, so I knew it wouldn’t be a terrible night.

And then I momentarily forgot how fucking good Against Me! are.

But first, there was a support band. Canterbury are a band I saw play with my ex’s band a good number of years ago. To this day, I maintain that the sticker one of them gave me is one of the most adhesive things I’ve ever had in my life and it’s still stuck to my dresser. The first time I saw Canterbury, I wasn’t paying much attention, but I didn’t like them very much. It seemed ridiculously generic. I can say now though, that with my full attention, they’ve much improved. While not in line with the folk punk glory that is Against Me!, they played slightly more non-generic rock music that has the potential to be very catchy. It’s clear that there’s a bit of a Muse influence in there with some of the guitar, but old Muse, leading to a much more energetic set. The band themselves were really going for it, and as they are young and hopeful, they looked pretty adorable, like kids playing rock stars. They had a somewhat enthusiastic following, probably brothers, sisters and girlfriends, but there’s enough ‘la la la’s’ in there to form a good singalong. Surprisingly, for a support band, the sound quality was great and the band themselves sounded well rehearsed and to be honest, quite impressive. They might have looked like they were playing rock star, but I really hope that one day, that dream becomes fully fledged. They certainly seem like they work hard enough for that to be a reality.

Against Me! completely destroyed the venue though. While not packed out to full capacity, it felt as if the whole world was there. As lame as it sounds, moments like last night are the kind of moments I live for – watching something incredible, fists in air with a bunch of people who don’t even know your name, but they know what’s inside you, what makes your heart beat, because that’s what makes theirs beat too. It’s almost impossible to describe unless you’ve experienced it. And oh, I experienced it. I experienced it so much that my sunburn hurt. A lot. Because that’s what happens every time I go to see Against Me! – I jump around like a crazy person, throw myself around into other people doing the same and lose my voice because I’m screaming my throat out. I am currently suffering because of it, but it’s not a show unless I’m not.

And a show it was. Against Me! had their own light set put up, which I can only imagine was torture for the sake of aesthetics – Tom Gabel was looking excessively sweaty by the end of the set, Andrew Seward less so, but he has a beard to soak it up – but damn, did it look cool. In imitation of the new ‘White Crosses’ cover, there were dressing room bulbs stacked all around the set, lighting up with every ‘woah’, and it was pretty awesome. fightclubsandwich and I were commenting greatly on how classy it looked. For the songs from ‘White Crosses’, the band brought out a keyboardist, who had the most incredible curly moustache I’ve ever seen and a snazzy trilby. He may or may not be from The World/Inferno Friendship Society, but as I don’t have internet from where I’m writing this, I’m going to leave that research to you.(Just discovered that it’s Franz Nicolay from The Hold Steady – thanks to tayzowns from Last.FM for that one!) And as much as I complained previously that the amount of keyboard made ‘White Crosses’ seem more like a Journey album than an Against Me! album, I have to admit that it did bring an entirely new dimension to their sound and well… it was fun! People forget that because Against Me! are really politically minded in some respects that their music is pretty fun to sing along to, so why not?

The set itself was very evenly put together. Of course, it was heavily weighted towards material from ‘White Crosses’ as they played the title song of the album, new single ‘I Was A Teenage Anarchist’, ‘Suffocation’, ‘High Pressure Low’ and probably other things that I can’t remember. It was surprising to see how many people there knew the words, but then again, I guess it did get leaked, and Tom did put the lyrics up on his blog for everyone who downloaded it. What a gent. I found it amusing that he had the cheek to play a song from his solo EP, but if I had to place it, I’d say that ‘Amputations’ is a lot more of an Against Me! song than it is a Tom Gabel song, and it fitted right in with the set. I can honestly say though that only me and about five other people were singing along to it though. They pleased the crowd with a few songs from ‘Reinventing Axl Rose’ including ‘Baby, I’m An Anarchist’, which they very rarely play. There was a reasonable amount from each album, including most of the singles and ‘Sink.Florida.Sink’ which happens to be not only one of my favourite Against Me! songs, but one of my favourite songs ever. There was plenty to shout about in ‘Miami’, which sounded complete with the addition of the keyboard.

Against Me! have a great reputation as a live band to uphold, and they certainly did just that. While I was a little disappointed with the lack of Warren, due to his departure to pastures Floridian and gatory, George seemed to fit right in with the dynamic and everything sounded perfect. One of my favourite things about Against Me! is the way that James, Tom and Andrew harmonise and when this is accomplished live, that’s the mark of good musicians. Because regardless of what people think, punks can play music well in this day and age. Tom’s voice may be a bit more refined these days, but it’s not lacking any of the vitriol and passion it’s always had and as a unit, the band perform together perfectly. While they’re not really ones to mix things up a bit, they don’t need to, because seriously, every song is great as it is. There’s not a single song that I can say is bad by this band.

And it really says a lot when my only disappointment is that Tom was playing a Telecaster instead of a Rickenbacker.

AFI – A Retrospective

Originally posted by Ripper on 18/09/2009

The truth is, AFI have been my favourite band since I was 10 years old. Ridiculous? Probably. It was when we first got Sky Digital. I turned onto the music channels and hit MTV2, purely by accident. It was there that I witnessed Davey in all his androgynous glory singing ‘Boy Who Destroyed The World’ and I fell in love. Despite discovering new and exciting music all the time, nothing ever struck me as deeply as AFI did. If it weren’t for AFI, I probably wouldn’t be the person I am today.

That’s not to say that I’m one of those kids who’s all ‘OH MY GOD AFI ARE MY LIIIIFEEEE, WITHOUT AFI I WOULD BE DEAD RIGHT NOW’. Quite the contrary; I know barely anything about the band members themselves (I am a casual follower of Hunter on Twitter because he makes many tweets about coffee), I wasn’t thrilled by the latter two albums, I’m still not a DF member and I don’t even know all the words to the songs. I probably suck as a fan. But let’s ignore that fact for now. I appreciate that AFI make damn good music and that’s why I love them.

AFI have a new album coming out next week. It’s called Crash Love. From what songs and previews I’ve heard, it’s a little beefier than Decemberunderground, and that suits me just fine. Ridiculous title aside, I can predict that it’ll probably be my favourite album this year. Maybe. However, in respect to the fact that this will be AFI’s eighth studio album, I’m writing a brief history of the band and what’s so awesome about them. I know that most people who read this zine will be relatively familiar with AFI. But my mum isn’t, so here goes!

Days of the Devilock

(NB: in reference to titles, I’ll go with Davey’s hairstyle at that point, because it changed so damn much).

AFI started out in 1991 as a punk band from Ukiah, California. Nothing much happened for four years, until their first album, Answer That And Stay Fashionable came out in 1995 on Nitro Records, Dexter Holland’s (of Offspring fame) label, with the lineup of Davey (vocals), Geoff (bass), Mark (guitar) and Adam (drums). ATASF is a wonderful punk offering with some of AFI’s most classic tracks on it. My personal favourite, ‘Cereal Wars’, tells of Davey’s quest to go and find cereal and the difficulties of finding the right brand. Seriously. But it’s songs like this that remind me of AFI being fun, unlike their more serious image now. I mean, come on, on the cover, they all dressed like gangsters! Classy gents. The bass in this album is also mental. It’s not as awesome as Hunter’s, but I imagine that Geoff totally shredded his fingers at how fast some of the songs are. Kudos to Davey as well, for singing without taking a breath because he’s going so fast. I’ll let you fill in with your own innuendo here. Seriously though, it’s one of AFI’s catchiest albums, even if almost all the songs stay the same. I don’t think I know an AFI fan that doesn’t know the words to ‘High School Football Hero’ or ‘I Want A Mohawk (But Mom Won’t Let Me Get One)’. If you enjoy hyped up punk with a bit of a comical edge that are heavier than Blink 182 or the Descendents, then this AFI album is perfect for you. It’s well worth the £15 (!) I paid for it from HMV before I discovered internet shopping.

Recommended tracks: Cereal Wars, The Checkered Demon, Rizzo In The Box, High School Football Hero

A year later, when AFI still released albums at a sensible time, Very Proud Of Ya came out, and well, I won’t lie, it sounded exactly the same as ATASF but with much better production and slightly more distinguishable vocals. And that was totally fine by me. Lyrically, the album is somewhat more serious… until ‘Cruise Control’ comes along with the beauty “I don’t wanna fuck you, don’t wanna fuck you, I don’t wanna fuck you… SO FUCK YOU!” All pisstaking aside though, AFI start to touch on isolation, fear, straight edge and love, instead of cereal, school and mohawks, and it works. VPOY is the teen angst album for people who don’t want to admit they have teen angst. VPOY also marks the beginning of AFI’s move towards hardcore (yes, hardcore), with songs like ‘Aspirin Free’ holding a much heavier and angrier sound. Breakdowns weren’t to come for a while, but the structure was in place. And it was good.

Recommended tracks: Crop Tub, This Secret Ninja, Charles Atlas, Cruise Control

Slicked Back In Black

The first lineup changed happened in 1997, and Geoff left, making way for Hunter Burgan, AFI’s current bassist to shake things up a bit. It’s no coincidence that AFI’s sound shifts a lot for next album, Shut Your Mouth And Open Your Eyes. Things sound a bit more minor, Davey’s lyrics start to become confusing and metaphoric, and dammit, there’s gang vocals! SYMAOYE is potentially my second favourite AFI album, for the fact that it takes a far more hardcore feel, and because it begins to form the basis for my favourite period of AFI’s history, which is the beginning of the definitive line up. The addition of Hunter was one of the best decisions AFI could have made, because he brought such a great change to the lineup. Although AFI worked well as a less serious band, it was here that it was obvious that the band were meant for greater things. Anthems For Insubordinates became A Fire Inside, the guitar even became slightly more sophisticated and hard hitting, and backing vocals work properly for the first time. This album also has my second favourite AFI song on it, ‘Let It Be Broke’, which is potentially the greatest break-up-fuck-you I’ve ever heard.

Recommended tracks: Let It Be Broke, A Single Second, The New Patron Saints And Angels, Third Season

In 1999, Black Sails In The Sunset (have you noticed AFI have a propensity for long titles yet?) was released, and well… it was completely different to anything they’d ever done before. Why? Because Jade Puget replaced Mark on guitar, Davey went back to singing unintelligibly again and no lyrics made sense for they were all metaphors now. That’s probably not selling AFI to you, but it really should, because this album was awesome. Jade has to be one of the best guitarists in my eyes because everything just fits so perfectly, and he picks this wonderfully dark tone in every song that completely defines AFI’s later material, from the music to the album artwork. Whilst AFI lingered in this ‘horrorpunk’ period, they created a beautiful atmospheric sound which still resonates with me today. Also, some of the best riffs on an AFI album can be found here – the opening to ‘The Prayer Position’ stills sends shivers down my spine.

Recommended tracks: Malleus Maleficarum, The Prayer Position, God Called In Sick Today, Exsanguination.

This carried on through to the EP’s they released – A Fire Inside and All Hallows. A Fire Inside consisted of mostly covers, including a cover of The Cure’s ‘The Hanging Garden’, indicative of their new sound. The Cure influence can be heard throughout several songs on fifth album, The Art Of Drowning, as Davey takes a definite cue from Smith’s haunting vocals, particularly on ‘Morningstar’ and ‘6 to 8’. The Art Of Drowning is my favourite AFI album, and indeed, my favourite album of all time. It’s impossible to say that it was this album in which AFI truly found their sound, because their sound has varied so much from their humble beginnings to their status as rock stars worldwide, but it was where, I feel, they found perfection. From the energy of true opening track ‘The Lost Souls’, to the magnificently poppy single ‘Days Of The Phoenix’ to slow burning ‘Morningstar’, AFI cover a range of emotions and sounds and they do it all perfectly. There is no bad song on this album, which is going to make it ridiculously difficult to pick my favourites in a moment. It’s a culmination of everything AFI were and could be, mixing hardcore, horror and pop punk all in one. And it’s incredible. Lyrically, this is also AFI’s most impressive album. It’s almost impossible for me to pick any one example, but my favourite comes from the chorus for Wester:

Tonight in the whispers when no one’s around/Nothing can stop us now/Tonight in the whispers where we won’t be found/Nothing can stop us now.

It’s ridiculously simple, but to me, invokes images of a secret wonderland in the shadows, which totally sums up the fantasy feel behind all of AFI’s lyrics from Black Sails onwards. And this album also featured Beetlejuice quotes, so major points for that.

Recommended tracks: Boy Who Destroyed The World, Wester, The Nephilim, The Despair Factor

The Art Of Drowning marked an end to AFI’s career on Nitro Records, and as a result, they released a retrospective of singles and previously vinyl only tracks. Despite owning almost every single song on it, I bought it, and was treated to a few gems such as ‘A Winter’s Tale’ and ‘Rolling Balls’, a delightful little ditty about wanting to become a woman. I would actually recommend this to anyone who didn’t know where to start with AFI, as it’s got a great range of their songs on there from ATASF to The Art Of Drowning so you can really get a feel of what AFI have done and where to go from there.

Danzig Tribute 2.0

AFI moved to Interscope Records after a very successful time on the underground circuit, and released Sing The Sorrow in 2003. STS… well, it’s a total change. As in, it doesn’t sound very much like anything AFI have done ever before. I love it still, but it’s my least favourite AFI album. Any element of punk has slowly dissipated, but the melancholic and dark sounds from the last two albums remain, creating an interesting, if not complete, sound. The really interesting thing about STS is not the music, but the
Clandestine Theories, a concept behind the album which was hinted at within the short film Clandestine, which was brought out on a special edition collector’s album. Which is impossible to find for under £200 on eBay. If you start on ‘Bleed Black’ and pay careful attention to the lyrics (and later the speech in the hidden track), the narrative takes you through birth, life, death and resurrection in a spectacularly eerie fashion. It’s pretty awesome. Either way, the album isn’t a bad one, and much better than most other things that also came out in 2003.

Recommended tracks: Dancing Through Sunday, This Time Imperfect, Synesthesia, This Celluloid Dream

Depeche Mode Called, They Lost Their Keyboardist

Three long years later, AFI came out with Decemberunderground, a far better effort than STS was. It was a lot poppier and a bit more sporadic in its sound, but it showed AFI experimenting with different styles as opposed to staying stagnant, which I really appreciated. They played around with new wave in ‘The Missing Frame’, went back to their hardcore roots in ‘Kill Caustic’ and kind of managed to sound slightly like Green Day to half the world in ‘Miss Murder’. DU just sounds great through loud speakers, and you can understand what Davey’s actually singing again! DU saw AFI just go ‘fuck it’ and throw themselves into a variety of different influences, which resulted in an excellent album. Forthcoming Crash Love also seems to take the same cues as DU did, and should be an excellent album.


So, it’s an exciting new era for AFI. Fourteen years and numerous reinventions later, and the band really seem to have found themselves. Davey, however, can’t find a haircut he truly likes, so I leave you with this – a video of all of his hairstyles to date. Enjoy!