3.18.2011

Friday's End Note: A Bay Area Original - Then and Now

Hey. I'm Jason.

What you're reading will be my first post on this fantastic music blog that David started a couple of weeks ago. It will cover a vast, eclectic range of all things musically brilliant. I think it's really going places and I hope everyone is onboard :)

I thought it would be a good idea for my first post to establish my musical tastes and cultural standpoint much as David did with his first post in which he listed his favorite songs from every artist he's ever listened to. Now, seeing as I don't have anywhere near his level of patience or discipline I have decided rather to spotlight a band that crashed onto the scene during my very early childhood years, matured with me as I grew into adolescence and adulthood, and also hail from the same part of the U.S. as I do, the beautiful and unique San Francisco Bay Area.


AFI


Genre: Hardcore -> Post-Hardcore -> Alternative

Origin: Formed in Ukiah, California, gained notoriety in Berkeley, California

Standing for "A Fire Inside" (though originally "Asking for It" or alternatively "Anthems for Insubordinates"), AFI has been pushing the punk scene forward since the early 90's. Their early work, along with the efforts of their friends in the band Tiger Army, defined the Bay Area hardcore scene. Their 1996 album, Very Proud of Ya, is filled with quintessential examples of what hardcore is all about: short, fast, unwaveringly aggressive blasts of repetitive instrumentation accompanied by screaming gang vocals courtesy of lead singer, Davey Havok.

AFI - "File 13" off Very Proud of Ya




1999 signaled a change of the guard for AFI. They recruited a new guitarist named Jade Puget. It is my personal opinion that Puget is one of the most under-appreciated guitarists of the past decade. Puget's moody and understated plucking and equally harmonious searing riffs and solo shredding brought in the age of gothic AFI. This new dark strain permeated it's way into many of the up and coming "emo" bands of the early 2000's such as My Chemical Romance and The Used.

AFI - "Silver and Cold" off Sing the Sorrow

AFI - "Summer Shudder" off DECEMBERUNDERGROUND




Crash Love, AFI's latest release (2009), seems to suggest a slight step back from punk, showcasing a focus on a more alternative sound. The album also features less esoteric lyrics which were a standby of their three gothic-phase albums. This has helped to make it more accessible to new fans who may not have been into Havok's wildly poetic writing style in previous efforts. This maturing sound has had an influence on the scene as punk bands such as Sum-41 and New Found Glory take a turn for the serious as well.

AFI - "Darling, I Want to Destroy You" off Crash Love


-JB

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