Friday, January 6, 2017

A.F.I - "S/T"

These guys were at their peak with "Sing the Sorrow" and then found the more 80's new wave influences creeping into "Decemberunderground" that current still pervades the even slicker radio geared sound that is on their new album. Sometimes it works like a fucking charm with the opener being one of those moments. They come closer to a more Panic! At the Disco like sound on "Still A Stranger" with the vocals bringing a little more grit, though the guitar sound is more refined and could more gain in place to give this more punch. The lack of grit is something that takes getting used to on this album. Sometimes they nail it even without their old punk snarl "Aurelia" being the first to stand out.  "Hidden Knieves' shows that they really shine these days more as song writers as the song has all the pop punk hooks married to a more Placebo like.

They veer off into a more jangling post-punks sound that makes me think of R.E.M on "Get Hurt" . The chorus is big and slick here with some impressive guitar that sometimes takes the back seat in the mix. They brighten their darkness into shades that recall the Cure's radio pop in a very obvious manner on "Above the Bridge". There is a little more of their old punk self on "So Beneath You", but it doesn't have the thoughtful sense of melody that a song like "Snow Cats" does. They come back with more kick to their  sense of remembering who they once were on "Dumb Kids" but Danny never goes up into his more piercing metallic screams. It is not until "Pink Eyes' that we hear more aggression blended with this slicker pop punk sound.While the bass line to "Feed From the Floor" is much more Cure inspired the rest of the band joins oin to create this more goth tone.The most powerful return to their former anthems is on "White Offerings" which kicks a tone of ass. br /> They continue to excel at the marriage of pop slick sounds with their darker goth shadows on "She Speaks the Language" . They have slinky Depeche Mode like bass line on the closing anthem "the Wind that Carries Me Away" , think if they stepped back on their distortion pedals they would have given this song more balls and taken it to the next level, but as it is the song is still pretty decent. I'll give this album a 9.5 and see how it grows on me without the more hard core ghosts of their past haunting it.

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