Approaching two decades as a functioning band (with a few admittedly sketchy years in the beginning), AFI is effectively in punk rock for the long haul. The band ushered a million or so people into its cult through 2003's certified platinum Sing the Sorrow with the help of some catchy singles and dangerously androgynous (and androgynously dangerous) frontman Davey Havok. Now, six years and a few side projects removed, AFI has repositioned itself as the Smiths of the 21st century. Its new album, Crash Love, is loaded with painfully gorgeous love songs, vicious attacks toward celebrity culture and a handful of truly empowering anthems. But witnessing the Bay Area-born rock act live is a whole other beast, one that will involve plenty of crowd surfing, a healthy amount of black fishnet stockings being worn as armwear and about a thousand or so disaffected teens chanting, "Through our bleeding, we are one." Morrissey would be down with it.
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