Friday, October 3, 2014

Davey Havok and Jade Puget are BACK

My friend and I were talking about this just the other day; AFI has cycles that we, as fans, unfortunately have to suffer through. There's an album and a tour (which, thank God, comes around New York in October/November each time because AFI is a Halloween band and no one can fight me on this) and then three or more years of silence. It's killer.

But Davey and Jade have decided to be kind to us and grace us with new music that isn't quite so electronic (not that I don't love Blaqk Audio but that's a more every other month but Halloween Month band). I previously reported on their new side project, XTRMST, and talked about how there was probably more to come. Well, they just announced that they will be releasing their first LP in November with a pre-order available starting October 7.

What's XTRMST?

The band just posted this whole little manifesto on its website:

So, apparently, this band is a musical expression of the straightedge ideology, which is kind of cool. A whole band dedicated to an ideal that doesn't preach excess. In this era of twerking and less is more when it comes to clothes and more is more when it comes to sex and drugs, it's going to be almost surreal to have a band whose music is inspired by a life of control.

What is straightedge? It's a movement that essentially requires that an individual have respect for him or herself by not engage in sexual activities when there isn't an emotional bond and not ingesting addictive substances such as drugs and alcohol. Honestly, it's not a terrible life style. It had its beginnings with Ian MacKaye and Minor Threat in the 80's and has held on pretty well. Granted, not too many kids are flocking to this idea of no promiscuous sex, no drugs, and no alcohol but it's still something of value, especially in an era of "my Anaconda don't want none unless you got buns, hun." I'm still gagging over those lyrics.

XTRMST will just be one of a number of straightedge bands- X-Files, Champion, and Have Heart are just a few- but they sound different and they should; the band has the songwriters of AFI as its founders. These are songwriters that are up there with Morrissey and Robert Smith and, if you've loved AFI as long as I have, you know its roots are in hardcore. But it's not straight up hardcore. It's creative and full of an almost gothic, Danny Elfman vibe.

The great thing about the few tracks that I've heard so far- they sound like tracks from the Black Sails on the Horizon or Art of Drowning eras with a bit more malice. There's an incredible amount of darkness in the songs I've heard so far, a darkness that AFI fans are going to be drawn to. But there's also grit and cacophonous guitar and bass melodies that make your eyes twitch and skin a good way. It's the kind of music you can get lost in.

The songs are something incredibly new while incredibly familiar and I'm sure AFI fans and new fans alike will be clambering over each other to get to the shows.

Check out their website, where you can hear one of their new songs.

Now, hopefully, this means that they'll be touring soon. Fingers crossed. Until then, I'll be preordering this baby and planning to find the vinyl somewhere (even if it means I need to brave the dark, cavernous depths of Hot Topic where Justin Bieber mingles with Joy Division).

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