Seriously... What the fuck happened?
The album starts off with a track that is pretty reminiscent of “Miseria Cantare”, and arguably, a bit like “Strength Through Wounding (towards the end). Though, I know most punk fans (and fans of older AFI in general) will claim that Sing the Sorrow was their downfall, honestly, I think it has to be Crash Love. At least Sing the Sorrow had Paper Airplanes and Bleed Black. It happened to be my intro to their music as well (so I'm possibly biased), it was their first mainstream effort, and it put them on the map. Unfortunately, it had the same effect that Maroon 5's first album had, and their fans shifted from serious music lovers to a bunch of pre-pubescent gel-pen-obsessed girls... Honestly, Maroon 5's first album had the serious potential to lead into some serious funk and neo-soul outings, but the all mighty dollar dictated that they would end up releasing “Payphone.” But, I digress... Right now I'm busy ranting and raving, and castrating AFI for the album they've just put out, which barely constitutes as music...
Burials doesn't do a bad job carrying itself through the second track, it is a bit like Sing the Sorrow at first, or so they would want you to believe—which is obvious, their breakout album put them on the map and spawned a few really good singles—“I Hope You Suffer” brings your hopes up, but by the time you hit “A Deep Slow Panic” you start to doubt your own optimism. Finally, when you reach the first single “17 Crimes,” you're brought back down to reality and you start to hate life, as well as the modern music industry in general. How did the greatest Misfits cover band (to never actually cover any Misfits songs)—and the main musical vehicle for the lead singer chosen to sing on the “Son of Sam” project—degenerate so horribly, to become complete and utter pop bullshit? My mind doesn't quite comprehend what the producers of Crash Love and Burials were thinking.
This isn't my first time listening to this album, I've listened to it a few times, I just don't want to believe that the abomination that was Crash Love is now their de facto mode of making music. The throw-backs presented in Burials aren't enough, and “A Deep Slow Panic” isn't quite Cure-enough, or Robert Smith-ish, for me to be convinced that they can do this style of music honestly, and with the conviction it takes to put out legitimate music. Davey Havok has lost it... as if Blaqk Audio wasn't proof enough...
And, if you haven't listened to Blaqk Audio, do yourself a favor and avoid the albums put out under this moniker by all means necessary, unless of course, you're a Savage Garden fan (which I happen to be), you might find a small nugget here and there, but overall.... Anything associated with Davey Havok at this point is just candy-coated hopes and dreams of a singer who has lost all sense of his fan-base.
Not that I have anything against Davey Havok personally, I think that he has incredible vocal range, and I dig the fact that he has such an intense love for David Bowie and Queen, but what he has released, doesn't even come close to achieving that level of artistic integrity.
What about Decemberunderground!?!? YES, I did forget about that album, why? Because it's fucking forgettable, that's why. But at least “Kill Caustic” is a better track than anything on Crash Love or Burials. Lyrically, “Kill Caustic” is a solid track. And it has the energy that “Days of the Phoenix” had. Ultimately, quite depressingly, Black Sails in the Sunset is the pinnacle of AFI's career, unfortunately, and is the only album really worth owning. I'll continue following their music, but only with the hope that they wake up and realize the teenie-boppers they've been selling music to have grown up and crave real punk music after all of these years, and they return to their roots, the point when they realized making music for a living was about more than just selling albums, that it was about artistic expression.