Crash Love offers emotional rock anthems
Hot Topic shoppers, rejoice: After a three year hiatus, AFI has returned to provide skinny jean and tight T-shirt-wearing, morbid jewelry adorned, pre-pubescent teens with some new tunes to accompany their shopping experience for the next few weeks. Crash Love, the goth emo rock bandâs eighth studio album, has recently hit stores in both a regular and deluxe edition.
Perhaps many readers may be rolling their eyes at the thought of yet another addition to the insufferably lengthy list of recent emo rock albums. Before you start to complain, at least give AFI their due respect. These chaps from Northern California have been around for quite some time. Forming in 1991, AFI released its first studio album, Answer That and Stay Fashionable, four years later and has continued to churn out new music ever since. If we were to pull out our handy music industry calculators, weâd discover that 18 years of success roughly equates to a ridiculously large and impressive number in emo rock years. The bandâs uncanny staying power demands that we consider them with a bit more respect than its more recently formed contemporaries, such as My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Alien Ant Farm and Panic at the Disco, who have finally rid themselves of that bizarrely placed exclamation point.
Crash Love demonstrates precisely how AFI has managed to experience continued success in the music industry while maintaining a fiercely loyal fan base. The new album is oozing with harmlessly gothic rock anthems, complete with infectious guitar riffs and pulsating beats. Images of young lovers and teenage rebellion constitute the lyrics of lead singer Davey Havok and easily attract the middle school-aged goth punk demographic. Song titles like âDarling, I Want to Destroy Youâ and âMedicateâ might make Mommy and Daddy wary of what their impressionable kids are listening to. However, the straight edge lifestyle of both Havok and guitarist Jade Puget allow them to give AFI the thumbs-up over its other contemporaries.
âTorch Songâ opens the album with a bang â or more specifically, a boisterous âOh!â from the nasally voiced singer. In fact, Havok decides to open not one, not two, but five songs with that same earsplitting exclamation. The mostly playful atmosphere of Crash Loveâs music speaks for itself. We do not need Havokâs yelps constantly reminding us that he is having fun and that we should also join in.
Pugetâs guitar effortlessly matches Havokâs passion as his voice yearns, Iâd tear out my eyes for you, my dear, to see everything you do. The lyric is certainly not the most brilliant string of words to ever grace the human ear; yet, it has all the ingredients to melt the young hearts of its target audience. So will songs like âBeautiful Thieves,â which tells the tale of a Bonnie and Clyde-esque couple running from its inevitable faith, and âVeronica Sawyer Smokes,â about love at first cigarette light.
In the same manner of the bandâs previous outing, Decemberunderground, most of the songs seem to have been created for the sole purpose of being performed with fake plastic guitars in the next edition of Rock Band or Guitar Hero. âMedicate,â the CDâs first single, will undoubtedly amass the same popularity as the bandâs incredibly similar-sounding 2006 hit âMiss Murder.â
The deluxe edition of Crash Love is a must have for devoted AFI fans, but for the rest of us, downloading âMedicate,â âTorch Song,â âEnd Transmissionâ and âFainting Spellsâ will provide a sufficient musical platter of the CDâs highlights. For those who would rather jab a chopstick through their ears than listen to emo rock, it is strongly advised that you keep your distance from Hot Topic while you peruse the mall during the next few weeks.