AFI Sing the Sorrow

AFI Sing the Sorrow

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“For [bands like the Strokes] to say they are the saviors of rock is ludicrous. There’s nothing new about warmed over, 30-year-old Stones riffs.” So says Jade Puget (in last month’s edition of Meanstreet), guitarist of AFI, the band rocketing to the top of radio playlists across the country. These are strong (but not untrue) words from a band that is untested in the rock mainstream. But as the static fades from the opening seconds of their major label debut, Sing the Sorrow, one can’t help but hope that AFI knows something we don’t. Produced by modern rock masterminds Jerry Finn and Butch Vig, the album is so polished that even hardcore Bay Area punks will be able to see the reflections of their own guilty pleasures in it. And despite its undeniable radio-rock friendliness, Sing the Sorrow has a latent legitimacy that lurks deep within the layers of its songs, cultivated from AFI’s decade of service to the punk and hardcore underground. Listen closely and you’ll hear Puget palm-muting and playing leads straight out of the respective styles of old-school NYC hardcore and SoCal melodic punk alike. But don’t look for Sing the Sorrow to change rock forever; the album is not genre-defining, but rather, defying. AFI has yanked tricks from so many different bands that their sound is the freshest thing to hit radio since Jimmy Eat World’s