★★☆

 

Never a band for going easy on the theatrics, AFI have pretty much made a name for themselves with their flamboyance and drama, both in appearance and in their music.

They’ve twisted and reformed rock’n’roll for over two decades now, and ‘The Blood Album’ sees the former emo punks throwing themselves way back in time to channel some heavy New Romantic influences.

 

It’s the old meeting the new – a 21st century band as a vessel for the likes of Joy Division and The Cure. ‘Dark Snow’ retains those classic AFI goth chorus melodies, but with the overlaying synth and voices, you’d be forgiven for thinking this was a mash-up of those classic ’80s bands, not original work. The saving graces, though, are ‘Still A Stranger’ and ‘Hidden Knives’, which lean on the emo-punk sound that so many fell in love with over the years. Drum lines, high-pitched guitar parts and simple lyrics make these the standout numbers on the album – and it doesn’t hurt that their sound actually fits this decade. 

 

AFI have made a brave effort to create something new inside their genre, but a couple of tracks aside, there’s not much to be found here but throwback pop.

AFI’s AFI is out now through Caroline.

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