A Fire Inside or AFI for short, have been around for the past 18 years unleashing upon the music scene seven LPs to date with their eighth “Crash Love,” on the way. But the deal with AFI is a simple known fact, they’ve never seem to stick out with the same sound for more than a couple of albums. Their first being â€œAnswer That and Stay Fashionable,â€ in 1995. Then the band went on to release â€œVery Proud of Ya,â€ the following year, followed up by a third three years later, â€œShut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes.â€
Since the earlier creations, AFI has indeed like most bands changed their style to blend in along with the rest of the crowd, just like todayâ€™s fads same routine goes for music – AFI went from the stick liking’s of punk down to hardcore punk to horror punk in a matter of just a few years. 1999’s “Black Sails in the Sunset,” and 2000’s “The Art of Drowning,” it wasn’t until 12 years later that the band had stuck major success when it came down to “Sing The Sorrow,” (2003) having the well known hits, “Girl’s Not Grey” and “The Leaving Song, Pt. II,” aside from the others found upon this album. Then the band had taken a brief hiatus and returned in 2006 with “Decemberunderground,” that featured break-through single “Miss Murder,” and second smash-up “Love Like Winter,” now their eighth achievement is on the floor, and “Crash Love,” isn’t all the hype that AFI has been known to establish.
“Crash love,” does play the band’s strongest points to date but goes back to blending into the modern rock n roll vibrations that they changed not so long ago, there are some “old school” influences found upon the album such as “Medicate,” that constantly builds up that classic punk style with galloping guitar riffs with fast racing drum tactics getting your blood pumped. Guitarist Jade Puget steps it up in a major way when “OK, I feel Better Now,” showcasing his standout performance to date, starting off with a trade marking chiming chord sequence, before working into the strummed octaves and some unexpected, game-changing chord effects found within the third verse.
The other songs, make a particular marking that vocalist Davey Havok stays true to his fascination with death and self-destruction, not going away from those themes one bit but encouraging them a lot more. While “Crash Love,” never seems to hit the lyrical highs that “Sing The Sorrow” had once struck – “Veronica Sawyer Smokes,” may just be the most out-standing tune offered, let alone written about Winona Ryder, having Davey’s vocal skills be at their best perfection level to date, allowing him to sing the following line is remarkable: “I saw you every time I closed my eyes, in the Hughes film I had scored, produced and starred in, in my mind.â€
Nevertheless, Davey’s vocal contribution makes this song work in every way possible – laying out the voices and chorus structure in the perfect combination, having the rest of the music fall simply into place.
“Crash Love,” doesn’t demand for the listener to pay attention to everything spoken yet alone played to the same chord as their previous accomplishments, but it reveals a more intricate and well-constructed album, rarely lacking any proportion of quality or anything else falling out of place.