Most of my album reviews are quite long, often going over 500 words. As I am very much a trainee journalist I’ve decided that while this is all very good, I should probably occasionally limit myself to a word count. Therefore, from now on, every now and then I shall be doing shorter album reviews of only a couple of hundred words. Apologies if that annoys anyone but… well I don’t really care.
Those of us who grew up in a certain generation will be well aware of AFI. These gothic misfits were a big part of the soundtrack to many people’s teenage years and, therefore, their return with Burials, four years since their last album, is likely to fill many with mixed feelings. Does it still work now you’re in your 20s and over your teenage angst? Were they ever actually any good? Or can they be filed under other embarrassments like Panic! at the Disco?
The boring, but truthful, answer, is smack bang in the middle. If the years have passed and you’ve found yourself more interested in The Smiths or The Cure than Iron Maiden then this may well be the album for you. Tracks like “Anxious” and “Rewind” are pure gothic-tinged indie rock and anyone who likes things a bit dark and moody, but not moody enough that they can’t sing along and dance to it, will surely enjoy what AFI are offering.
The problem with all of this is how hollow it feels. AFI write great atmospheric gothic rock songs, but underneath the surface, there is little there. This isn’t an album that will stick in your head or change your world. It’s an album you may well enjoy, but you’ll never love.
Whether you like this or not will simply come down to taste, as it’s just not good enough to cross over any barriers. If you like moody rock that is aware enough of itself to make sure it still has a lot of big hooks, then this is going to be right up your ally. If however over the years you’ve discovered that your music requires a bit more balls, you might want to look elsewhere.
For Fans of: The Smiths, The Cure
Choice Cuts: I Hope You Suffer, Wild