Archive for the ‘afi’ Category

AFI – Crash Love

October 5, 2009
afi crash love

Written By: James Swigart


Label: Interscope – Rating:

Davey Havok’s vocals soar, leap, and, most importantly, blend. Havok doesn’t show the largest range, but he never sounds strained or disengaged. As sublime as Havok’s vocals are, the best part of Crash Love is the guitar. Each song features savage, beautiful guitar from an inspired Jade Puget. Puget’s guitar sounds very similar at times to that of Tool’s Adam Jones and at other times to that of Robert Smith.

We heard a pronounced similarity to Hysteria era Def Leppard guitar in the yearning, epic, stunning “Darling, I Want to Destroy You” and in the pulsing “End Transmission.” Guitar in the bonus tracks “Fainting Spells” and “100 Words” reminds us of early Metallica. Puget plays throughout with the ferocity of Brian May on the guitar classics Queen II and Sheer Heart Attack. The consistency of guitar in Crash Love is similar to that in Big Country’s masterpiece The Crossing.

The consistent, supple backing choruses remind us of Van Halen, Queen, and AD/DC. Drummer Adam Carson keeps an excellent beat and his minimalist approach brings to mind DJ Bonebrake and Echo and the Bunnymen’s late, always missed, Pete de Freitas. Tool bassist Justin Chancellor is expertly channeled by Hunter Burgan. Burgan’s bass fills open spaces with precision and helps keep a charging, mesmerizing beat.

There is an anthemic feel to many of the tracks but not as anthemic as some Rise Against or some Linkin Park. The production by Joe McGrath and Jacknife Lee gives us what we need – clean and nuanced sound. “Medicate,” the first single, features the calming lyrics: “Medicate here with me now as we lose ourselves in this and ignore that you don’t even know my name.” “Medicate” features Crash Love at its best – urgent, varied vocals; driving, hypnotic guitar; consistent, professional pacing; and rousing choruses.

AFI’s sound on Crash Love is grand and bold. The songs are lively throughout and not too long nor too short. This not small slice of heaven hits fifth gear midway with the quartet “Veronica Sawyer Smokes,” “Okay, I Feel Better Now,” “Medicate,” and “I Am Trying Very Hard To Be Here.” The deluxe version of the the album includes the four excellent bonus tracks “Fainting Spells,” “We’ve Got the Knife,” “Where We Used to Play,” and “100 Words.”

The regular version of Crash Love contains 12 songs and lasts a tad over 43 minutes. AFI is a major band both popularly and musically; a level of popularity touched briefly by the brilliant Echo and the Bunnymen and never touched by the seminal X nor by the criminally underrated Big Country. Crash Love shows that AFI wants to continue to earn whatever popularity it gets by playing incredible songs.

Like AFI? Check out: Tool, Big Country, Queen.

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AFI’s Crash Love

October 5, 2009

Written By: Natalie Perez
(Metal Editor)

A Fire Inside or AFI for short, have been around for the past 18 years unleashing upon the music scene seven LPs to date with their eighth “Crash Love,” on the way. But the deal with AFI is a simple known fact, they’ve never seem to stick out with the same sound for more than a couple of albums. Their first being “Answer That and Stay Fashionable,” in 1995. Then the band went on to release “Very Proud of Ya,” the following year, followed up by a third three years later, “Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes.”

Since the earlier creations, AFI has indeed like most bands changed their style to blend in along with the rest of the crowd, just like today’s fads same routine goes for music – AFI went from the stick liking’s of punk down to hardcore punk to horror punk in a matter of just a few years. 1999’s “Black Sails in the Sunset,” and 2000’s “The Art of Drowning,” it wasn’t until 12 years later that the band had stuck major success when it came down to “Sing The Sorrow,” (2003) having the well known hits, “Girl’s Not Grey” and “The Leaving Song, Pt. II,” aside from the others found upon this album. Then the band had taken a brief hiatus and returned in 2006 with “Decemberunderground,” that featured break-through single “Miss Murder,” and second smash-up “Love Like Winter,” now their eighth achievement is on the floor, and “Crash Love,” isn’t all the hype that AFI has been known to establish.

“Crash love,” does play the band’s strongest points to date but goes back to blending into the modern rock n roll vibrations that they changed not so long ago, there are some “old school” influences found upon the album such as “Medicate,” that constantly builds up that classic punk style with galloping guitar riffs with fast racing drum tactics getting your blood pumped. Guitarist Jade Puget steps it up in a major way when “OK, I feel Better Now,” showcasing his standout performance to date, starting off with a trade marking chiming chord sequence, before working into the strummed octaves and some unexpected, game-changing chord effects found within the third verse.

The other songs, make a particular marking that vocalist Davey Havok stays true to his fascination with death and self-destruction, not going away from those themes one bit but encouraging them a lot more. While “Crash Love,” never seems to hit the lyrical highs that “Sing The Sorrow” had once struck – “Veronica Sawyer Smokes,” may just be the most out-standing tune offered, let alone written about Winona Ryder, having Davey’s vocal skills be at their best perfection level to date, allowing him to sing the following line is remarkable: “I saw you every time I closed my eyes, in the Hughes film I had scored, produced and starred in, in my mind.” Nevertheless, Davey’s vocal contribution makes this song work in every way possible – laying out the voices and chorus structure in the perfect combination, having the rest of the music fall simply into place.

“Crash Love,” doesn’t demand for the listener to pay attention to everything spoken yet alone played to the same chord as their previous accomplishments, but it reveals a more intricate and well-constructed album, rarely lacking any proportion of quality or anything else falling out of place.