Back in 1999 Black Sails in the Sunset was game changing for me, it wasn’t the first time I heard AFI but like a lot of people it introduced me to a new sound that I ate up like a fat fuck at an all you eat buffet. Then when The Art of Drowning came out in 2000, I was impressed, actually I was really fucking impressed, and when they made their major label debut with Sing the Sorrow, I was like, meh, its not bad, its not great, but I liked it.
But then came Decemberunderground.
Even though I thought it was ok or even a little good, well aspects of it anyway, it was plain to see that it wasnt made for me or anyone else who held an album like Black Sails in high regard. To say it was a fuck you to those who embraced the band 10 years ago would be a bit harsh, but you could sense that they were saying this is us now, deal with it or go suck a cock, which would probably explain why Decemberunderground was so gay.
Yes, and by gay I totally mean the So You Think You Can Dance/two guys fucking each other up the ass/High School Musical kind of gay. I can’t decide if it was gayer than the time lead singer Davey Havok made Robert Smith from The Cure visibly uncomfortable when AFI performed at their MTV Icon tribute, but it was pretty gay.
With that all said we come to Crash Love, and the best way to describe this 2009 release is to say that its not as gay as their last album, I am 100% totally serious. Sure, there are a couple of little things about it that could be perceived as minutely homosexual, like the song Veronica Sawyer Smokes, but isn’t everything in life minutely homosexual?
But I digress, I like Crash Love because its not Decemberunderground, sure they didn’t go back to their hardcore roots but at least they produced a pretty much straight forward rock album, fuck, I’d even say that it came close to being a punk album, but I won’t officially say that because that would be opening a big ass can of worms and piss off punk rock snobs, which are 98% of people who consider themselves punkers.
Listening to it, you get the feeling that guitarist Jade Puget (who I’m a fan of) took the reigns with a fuck all Twilight emo retards mentality, grabbed his guitar and said “lets not piss around, we can’t go back to being the band we were 10 years ago but at least we can put some balls back into our music”. The result, minimal electronic bullshit (if any), perfect gang vocals that don’t overpower a song, fluid piercing riffs, and even a little bit of shredding (as evidenced in the track Medicate) all backed by a solid no nonsense rhythm section that culminates in a mature outing that knows how to take its time.
Sure, there’s no cool intro chant song and its no Black Sails in the Sunset or The Art of Drowning, it doesn’t have to be, AFI is not that band anymore, shit, they’re barely the same band that put out Sing The Sorrow back in 2003. I like Crash Love, to be honest I’m quite surprised by how much I like it, which is probably due to the fact that I wasn’t expecting much from it in the first place, but thanks to standout tracks like Torch Song, the aforementioned Medicate, Beautiful Thieves and Fainting Spells (a b-side from Decemberunderground available on the deluxe editions) its not (that) gay.
P.S : Minutely Homosexual would be a cool band name.