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Volume 68, Issue 112, Monday, March 17, 2003

Arts & Entertainment

AFI's new songs sing an old tune 

By Jason Gagnon
The Daily Cougar

If you like AFI, don't read this. This review is more of a public service for those who are unfamiliar with the group and curious to hear their new record, Sing the Sorrow.

Davey Havok, a transgender goth with a Glen Danzig fetish leads AFI on its new album, Sing the Sorrow. 

AFI, drummer Adam Carson (left), guitarist Jade Puget, singer Davey Havok and bassist Hunter released their first album on a major record label titled, Sing the Sorrow.

Matthew Welch/DreamWorks Records

One would imagine it hard for the group to find time to write new material, between side projects and bankrupting Hot Topics. Yet, they return to their fans with an album that critics have been hailing as more "mature" and a real "growth" for the band.

AFI seems to be jumping someone else's train, following in the tracks of bands like Thursday. On their newest attempt, the mates sound like Boy Sets Fire with falsetto.

Sing the Sorrow is a string of whiney melodic music with occasional heavy chords and plenty of bad teenage poetry. Let's start there. Can someone please make sure this guy never gets his hands on another Edgar Allen Poe book? Take a look at some lyrics from "Bleed Black." "I am exploring the inside./ I find it desolate./ I do implore these confines now as they penetrate/ recreate me." 

Were he seeking an English degree, Havok would have been far less successful than he is as pretentious goth rocker. Starting with an intro that sounds like a tribute to the Sisters of Mercy, the album trots along like an elephant chased by panthers after a few hours at the buffet. Nothing new here, except that they slowed down a lot of their songs and lightened up on the distortion. 

Of course, it's a nice change from the many albums the band released where the songs went verse - whoa oh oh - chorus with nasty production.

Alas, I know my words will not affect the thousands that have already purchased this album and the rest who will fall in love with the "deep" wisdom of Davey Havok. But on the bright side, if this thing tanks then he won't be able to afford make up and we'll get to see what he really looks like under all that muck.

Sing the Sorrow


Dreamworks Records

The verdict: Let Havok know that he is not the second coming of Glen Danzig by boycotting this album and band.

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