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AFI’s new album fails to give proper burial to old styles

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As the “drowning in eyeliner” emo phase of the alternative rock band AFI comes to an end, they open up a new chapter in their book of music styling. Their style now closely resembles ‘glum alternative rock,’ the music that plays during end credits of action movies. Not that sounding like some up and coming unknown artist is all bad for a 14-year-old band, it could possibly give them a chance to gain more of a fanbase.

After a nearly five-year hiatus, the band has been able to produce a 13-track album, released Oct. 22. Burials, the title of the new album, nearly makes me want to bury my head in a pile of dirt. Apparently, old habits of making their listeners want to kill themselves die hard.

Not to say that the music was bad–I find AFI highly talented–but their lyrics are incredibly depressing. The album features songs titled “I Hope You Suffer”, “No Resurrection” and “A Deep Slow Panic.” This album is not exactly geared towards cheerful people. Although their target audience is not happy people, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to them.

Fantastic guitar, a deep, slow, melancholy rhythm, and powerful vocals give the band a strong upper hand on all bands of this genre and the likes. Personally, I believe the song “The Conductor” gives a great example of what the entire album is like.

The band has matured plenty from their last album, Crash Love, which was released in 2009. However, they try to stay true to their heart-crushing, internal problems roots. In fact, they have not changed their sound since their first album was released back in 1999.

Overall, to give the album a complete rating, it’d have to be about a three out of five stars. Simply put, I was expecting more. Four years to grow up and change their styling to something completely different and this is what they go with? I am not pleased. Sure, it was a lovely album made by talented artists, but it wasn’t much different than any of the rest. They need to take a lesson from Fall Out Boy or Panic! At the Disco–if you’re going to go on a hiatus, make it worthwhile.


Kiley Cunningham
The Broadside




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