EP: The Missing Man
It's a rarity in the digital age for a band to be able to retain relevancy and respect across multiple decades; it's even rarer still for a band with 10 studio albums and over 10 EPs to convey a renewed connection to their overarching identity while still forging into fresh sonic waters. But California rockers AFI
have pulled off a riffy winner with their brand new EP 'The Missing Man' due
out this Friday that embraces a broadened sense of self after over a quarter of a century of existence.
Straight up, this ain't a release for the post-hardcore/screamy AFI-era fans; instead, 'The Missing Man' captures the rollicking vibrancy of early 2000s AFI with some of new wave tendencies of last year's 'The Blood Album release.
Rolling out with 'Trash Bat' (which is hopefully a reference to the niche British series Nathan Barley), thunderous drums and anthemic strums take the reigns with the ever-familiar vocals of frontman Davey Havok, while 'Break Angels' follows next with an alt-rock slant that diverges effortlessly into the grungy melodics of 'Back Into the Sun'.
TRASH BAT (AFI)
Lead single 'Get Dark' notches up as the penultimate track on 'The Missing Man', bringing some scathing defiant themes, grating rawness and a constant flow between sparse instrumentation and soaring choruses. The titular track closes out proceedings with a stripped back production that at times feels out of place against the more raucous
tracks that followed; but it's perhaps overall the most honest track, marginally leaning on the band's 'gothic rock' introspection and drawing to a theatrical close.
For a band notorious for genre evolution, it's no surprise 'The Missing Man' is a diverse offering that tip-toes across the many releases to have come before it. But it is this very evolution that paints the new EP with a nostalgic novelty, mostly harnessing some of the best elements of a band 25+ years into their career and presenting a resolute new step into the next phase for this dynamic bunch. 'The Missing Man' is certainly one of AFI's most polished and forthright releases yet, and overall the only thing missing are more songs to feast your ears on.
'THE MISSING MAN' WILL OFFICIALLY UNVEIL THIS FRIDAY 7TH DECEMBER, WITH DIGITAL PRE-ORDERS AVAILABLE NOW HERE.
FOR MORE AFI INFO, HEAD HERE.
BY TIANA SPETER