Inspiring work, beautifully executed
One look at TikTok shows emo is back because the younger generations discover classic emo songs all over again. The mix between Olivia Rodrigo’s “good 4 u” and “Misery Business” by Paramore took over the app just recently. Now, this is no text about TikTok trends, but with an emo revival, it is great to see more and more emo bands releasing new material and maybe gaining a new generation of fans. AFI hit the scene in 1991, landing a massive hit in 2006 with the release of Decemberundergound and the hit single “Miss Murder.” Throughout the years after the hit album, AFI released new albums. This month the band released Bodies.
The voice of vocalist Davey Havok is probably one of the most recognizable in the scene and what made AFI famous in the first place. It’s almost like the voice is the style. If you remember AFI from your emo days in high school, then Bodies might change your memory of the band. The album drips with new styles, maybe a little experimental, but successful nonetheless. “Far Too Near” is a great example of this; it features classic AFI but contains enough new elements to be exciting.
“Dulcería” showcases the vocal range of Havok perfectly that people could almost think it is someone else singing. The bass lines are the second most prominent feature. This song reminds one a little bit of a Placebo song, especially because of the somewhat adult-themed lyrics. “On Your Back” has a little more pop influences, but the chorus is quite catchy, and the change of pace mid-song is a nice cherry on top.
“Escape From Los Angeles” takes the listener back to the more punk roots of AFI with some interesting notes of ’80s synth-pop. Talking about the ’80s feel, the deeply sensual “Back From The Flesh” gives the audience some major Depeche Mode vibes. The whole mix between religious themes mixed with sensuality just screams Depeche Mode. “Death of the Party” offers a goth/new wave sound to its audience, and who doesn’t love new wave? “Death of the Party” almost sounds like it’s printed on a Killstar cup.
Two influential bands released new albums in just a short time. Rise Against released an album that was focused on a younger audience with not a lot of change in style compared to their other albums. AFI’s Bodies feels adult-ish. The band grew up, the style has changed but not in a bad way; it feels freeing. A band that is around for 30 years now and still can master the challenge of changing up styles, all while staying true to themselves, is impressive. Not every band can pull this off. blink-182 (who are around now for almost 30 years) get regularly trashed by their fans for changing their style. So when TikTok kids these days discover old emo classics and ultimately discover AFI, Bodies doesn’t have to hide behind Decemberunderground; it can show new fans what passionate and talented musicians are capable of.