After keeping their audience waiting for the guts of three years, AFI are back on the scene, although choosing to ditch the sound of 2006’s December Underground in favour of more traditional rock and roll tones. The band believes that Crash Love is their best album to date and we here at State are nodding in agreement. Even though the lyrics still retain the familiar dark elements, the musical side of things is a lot more upbeat, although this doesn’t mean they have dropped all of their what some people might label -emo’ sounds. That is one element we can never see AFI separating themselves from, whether consciously or not, but with this album they have mixed it into their new sounds and it has set pretty well.
Despite titles as cheerless as ‘I Am Trying Very Hard To Be Here’ and ‘Too Shy To Scream’, the actual songs themselves are extremely catchy and the musical arrangements are top-notch. Drummer Adam Carson really shines through on this album with his pulsating drum beats, which in some people’s opinion, he hasn’t done much of since his days of recording with Tiger Army. U2 collaborator Jackknife Lee returns to his punk roots (he was once a member of Compulsion) to co-produce the album with Joe McGrath (Morrissey) and although the pair couldn’t be more separated from the music of AFI, they have helped the band reach their peak and coin their sound. Thanks to a change of producer halfway through (David Borril dropped in favour of Lee and McGrath) there is a contrast in some of the tracks, with the originals more musical and containing more progressive rock tones, but ultimately Crash Love finds AFI finally coming together as a studio band. The result is their best work to date.