Review: AFI – Bodies

The rollout of singles from the eleventh studio album from AFI was interesting, to say the least. With a trio of dual singles releases beginning in January, and the subsequent ones to follow in February and April, there was plenty of new material for fans to dissect before the full-length album would be fully released this month. Davey Havok and Jade Puget had been extremely busy having released their latest Blaqk Audio project’s album in August of 2020, and they would later turn their focus towards the sessions that would make up the record known as Bodies. In a livestream event in April 2020, Jade Puget mentioned this latest album had been fully completed, but like so many other albums, the release date was being pushed back due to the pandemic. The material that comprised Bodies is a mixture of the sound AFI went for on The Missing Man EP, with a slight throwback to some stylistic choices found on Crash Love and the darker-toned Burials. The best part of AFI’s music is their ability to make songs that immediately sound like something they would create, yet sound unique enough to cover plenty of new ground along the way.

Read More “AFI – Bodies”

How Fuse and ‘Girl’s Not Grey’ Sparked A Fire Inside Me

AFI

Remember Fuse Network? Before the channel was nothing but reruns of Sister, Sister and The Parkers, it was a haven for alternative kids. Dedicated to playing the newest and best in rock music, it was rose above other so-called music networks. It was true 24/7 music programming during a time when MTV and VH1 switched to reality TV. And back in the mid-2000s, I was obsessed with it. I’d watch Fuse every day just to see what bands they played. Programs like Comp’d and Steven’s Untitled Rock Show introduced me to My Chemical Romance, Dir En Grey, The Academy Is…, and Every Time I Die. But only one Fuse memory sticks out vividly in my head: watching AFI’s “Girl’s Not Grey” for the first time.

I had no idea who or what AFI was. My friends didn’t listen to them. I didn’t hear them on the radio. But when I saw that video, it grabbed me. It was strange, yet mesmerizing. The band performing under a red sky surrounded by cherry blossoms, the uncanny girl guided by a strange bunny creature, Davey Havok screaming while covered in black tar. It was like walking through a surreal dream. Unlike anything I’d seen before. And the song was catchy too. From that moment on AFI was my band.

I couldn’t get the video out of my head. I waited hours for it to download so I could watch it every day until I knew every scene by heart. But it wasn’t enough. I needed to know everything about AFI. I spent hours online learning about them, listening to their music, memorizing their lyrics, playing Sing the Sorrow daily, and even downloading their catalog from Limewire. (Hey, I was a broke high school student). Soon, printed pictures of Davey filled my locker. My notebooks were covered with poorly drawn versions of their logo. I told anyone who would listen about this amazing new band. I was obsessed.

Read More “How Fuse and ‘Girl’s Not Grey’ Sparked A Fire Inside Me”

Review: AFI – The Art of Drowning

AFI - The Art of Drowning

It’s amazing to think how much things can change in just 20 years time. Bands form and can run their course over that period, whereas some of the best bands can stand the test of time by reinventing themselves over and over again. Enter AFI, who would continue to evolve and release some of the best melodic punk rock of this decade with this record. The Art of Drowning feels just as immediate, punishing, brooding, and essential as it did on its release via Nitro Records in the start of 21st century. Black Sails in the Sunset marked a smaller musical turning point for the band, as they began to explore some darker elements, and featured some new band members in Jade Puget (guitar) and Hunter Burgan (bass). But The Art of Drowning would remain the album that changed this band’s life for the foreseeable future. This core lineup would go on to record some of the more quintessential Gothic punk rock that future bands would try to emulate for years to come.

Read More “AFI – The Art of Drowning”

Review: AFI – The Missing Man

AFI - The Missing Man

AFI have never been strangers to the darker side of things, as clearly evident from the shadowy packaging and artwork of their latest EP, The Missing Man. However, what I’ve always admired about this band is the silver linings found in their music. After releasing arguably their darkest-toned LP to date in 2013’s Burials, they followed this effort with 2017’s AFI: The Blood Album, an album that incorporated many of their past styles into a single record. On this EP, AFI has found a way to pay homage to the path they blazed before, while still adding new elements to their trademark sound.

Read More “AFI – The Missing Man”