Despite having formed in 1991, Californian act AFI's success is
relatively recent and they are enjoying something of an Indian summer in the
US at the moment, having broken through from the fringe to become a fairly
respectable mainstream act. Though they have benefited from the (baffling)
success of emo, they are not truly an emo act, and Love Like Winter, with
its power chorus and wanton pursuit of the middle of the road, has more in
common with Bon Jovi than Fall Out Boy.
This is fairly catchy release and the aforementioned chorus will soon
drive its way into your brain like a jackhammer. In terms of the music, it
almost seems like something The Killers would release, with its
dramatic verses, epic, surging chorus, and subtle flourishes of electronica.
That said, AFI would be a much better band if they weren't so darn whiny.
From the portentous lyrics - "She exhales vanilla lace/I barely dreamt her
yesterday/Read the lines in the mirror through the lipstick trace/Por
siempre" - to the shrill, spoilt-child vocal from Davey Havok (I kid you not)
that ruins the eerie opening, this is the sound of a band who really would
be much better without the lyrics and the, um, singer.
However, musically AFI have potential, creating a worthy soundscape with
a variety of hooks and flourishes that compel you to listen. Were this a
school report, which it isn't, AFI would get a C+.