Wednesday, November 19, 2014

XTRMST Album Review


It's a 31 minutes blitzkrieg of an album; from the moment it starts to the moment it ends, XTRMST's debut, XTRMST, is a swift strike to the jugular. It's the hardcore album from AFI's songwriting duo- Davey Havok and Jade Puget- that fans have been waiting for.

As previously mentioned on this blog, Havok and Puget joined forces again to not bring you an industrial dance band but a hardcore, straight edge group that brings back old school AFI's guttural screams and unforgiving guitar lines. But unlike a lot of the AFI records that feature an almost melancholic undertone this album is all about pent up anger and rage. It's practically seething with it, oozing over with Davey's growls and Jade's relentless playing.

The album feels like a whole story, which is different for a hard core album. Though it's only 31 minutes, it feels like something bigger and grander. My favorite track, "Extremist," features a lot of spoken word punctuated by screams of "war." It's really a creative take on the hard core song and what it can do and translate. Other gems- "Words for the Unwanted," "Swallow Your God," and "Juliets"- showcase just how Davey and Jade have perfected this angry but poignant sound.

Also unlike a lot of purely hardcore tracks, this album features a lot of complex musicianship that reminds listeners that, yes, this is Jade Puget playing. He finds a great balance between raw power and intricate playing that really sets this album apart.

Overall, it's a fantastic album. It does have its weak moments- "Dirty Nails," which is ironic because that is the track that really pulled me into this project, and "Merciless"- but it's definitely worth a full album buy.

Davey and Jade once again proved that they are versatile and passionate musicians and I'm looking forward to the tour these guys are bound to do.

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