Monday December 2, 2013
AFI never fails to deliver. Let's not forget that acronym stands for A Fire Inside, because it has a lot to do with why they've maintained such a high quality level for so long. However, exactly when that run of excellence began is subject to debate. For some, their earlier work paved the way for that which was to come and remains their high water mark. There's assuredly some standout music from their beginning albums each containing about twenty songs checking in around the two minute mark in length. Many will say the fire inside was stoked with the release of their consecutive albums in 1999 and 2000, "Black Sails in the Sunset" and "The Art of Drowning" respectively. Some would argue the powerful "Last Days of the Phoenix" from the TAOD album served as an ignition point. The tune, about their days as a struggling band performing at the now closed Phoenix Theater in Petaluma, CA, led to major label interest as their deal with Nitro records came to an end. Others might say it's their classic "Totalimmortal" from Black Sails that set the stage. You can visit the band at AFireInside.net and the requisite social sites.
There's also a large group of AFI fans all but completely unaware of anything before 2003's "Sing the Sorrow". And why not? That's when the band from Ukiah, CA went major with Dreamworks records and became staples on the Billboard charts. "Sing the Sorrow" was named rock album of the year in several camps and for good reason. Not only did AFI score with three huge singles, but the entire album was of exceptional quality and flowed with such ease and grace that it's easy to forget it's running time is just shy of an hour. "December Underground" followed spawning more radio hits like "Miss Murder" and "Love Like Winter" and more critical acclaim as well. The new album, "Burials", featuring all music written by Jade Puget with all the lyrics from Davey Havok, is as dark as humanly possible...ink bottle in a coal mine dark...the cover is a perfect example with a total eclipse plunging us all into the chasm of anguish, but the music belies the brokenhearted cries and offers a spirited balance; a vehicle for some memorable Rock & Roll highlighted by "17 Crimes", "A Deep Slow Panic" and "Greater Than 84", all performed flawlessly. AFI is a hugely cinematic band and sonically "Burials" sounds massive. Time will tell if this is their best album ever, but it's certainly a candidate. So, what do you like? The early days? Their middle period, or the mainstream success era? We're fortunate because we like it all, have been a fan of the band since the 90's and see no reason to have to choose an era. We're also excited to have them stop by spend some time with us. That includes you too.
Join us for Davey Havok, Jade Puget and Hunter Burgen exclusively on the next Rockline!