Greetings, again, this time from the 47th moon of Jupitar (much better WIFI I must say). Well after doing a review of the last AFI album, which there are probably as many as there are moons outside of Saturn, which I’ve visited each of. No big deal. But seriously, AFI cannot stop. After Decemberunderground, they waited two long years to come out with this gem.
All of the members of the band took part in side projects. Hunter Burgan started his own band Hunter Revenge and reunited with his original buddies in The Force. Davey Havok and Jade Puget took part in an electronic act named Blaqk Audio. And I don’t know what the fuck Adam Carlson was during this time, lazy asshole. Just kidding. Kind of.
But one can’t but help but think that all these side projects had a profound impact on this album, as it’s direction is much different than any before and after it. Since these brothers are still making albums (come on dudes)(just kidding)(keep going), it is hard to call this album their seminal work, but goddammit I would not be surprised if it was.
I would describe the album as much softer than some of their other works, but just punk as it is rock, and again the lyrics Davey writes are worth a reading after listening. Now there are so many tracks on the extended edition of this album, I might skip one or two (I’m freakin’ sorry, I’ve only got 12 fingers here!). The album starts off with the Torch Song, again giving us a taste of what we are on in for. All four coming together again in unison, no front man taking all the attention. With Beautiful Thieves, Jade is given the opportunity to show of what he learned from Blaqk Audio.
Next, a song from the Decemberunderground sessions, Faint Spells fits in perfectly with the album, with acoustic guitar mixed with the usual hard electric. I’m not quite sure why this song was left of Decemberunderground, but at least we get a chance to enjoy it here. Next comes a hardcore punk love song that only AFI can seem to get right, mixing hard and soft at the same time.
Cold Hands shows obvious examples of Blaqk Audio, and the rhythm coming from Adam and Jade mix together, as if they are taking turns trying to outdo each other. Too Late for Gods is a song that doesn’t sound like AFI’s traditional punk, but at the same time it could only come from AFI.
Now to their hit song from the album, End Transmission, which I’m sure has been listened to about three quarters of a trillion times by teenagers everywhere on this rock. A casual love song, describing a simple love between two kids in deep. And I must admit, I did listen to this one several times. And again, the side projects have a clear influence here.
I Am Trying Very Hard to Be Here gives Jade another time to mix with Carlson and Burgan with Davey painting his lyrics right over the top of it. Sacrilege brings a fast paced classic punk, full of desire and hope for something that can’t be described, yet Davey seems to know and is hiding it from us. We’ve Got the Knife serves as a demo from the Crash Sessions, which again I’m not sure why this was left off the album. Soft melodies turn to traditional screaming vocals again, back and forth, which you would think is would only annoy but brings only awesomeness.
AFI comes back to it’s roots with Medicate with their classic punk-core sound, screaming vocals mixed with rhythms. I think everybody was hoping for a little original sound from them, not that they would have been upset with the rest of the album. Jade rocks a blistering solo for the last 20 seconds of the song, showing he is the man for the job here. Where We Used to Play, yet another demo from the Crash Sessions starts with what sounds like a soft love song, and just our ears think they are about to get a break, AFI brings it back hard.
Now I must apologize again, for I listened to this album on shuffle yet again (sue me mother fuckers!!) and I will definitely be giving it another shot straight through the way it was meant to heard. But I don’t think it will change the majesty of this one, as Crash seems to actually be AFI’s most thought out album to date.
Puck from Venus, out!!