Everyone knows ...Is A Real Boy, most people know In Defense Of The Genre and I'm sure people heard one way or another about 2014's Hebrews, but their self-titled is the one album most people either don't realize exists or just have the opinion this is where they lost interest. It's sad though because this is a really good album. It doesn't quite make the impact that IARB had or have the guest talent IDOTG had, but it's a solid entry into their catalog. It's full of some of the best lyrics Max Bemis has ever put down on paper. The instruments sort of fade into the background though but on this album I've realized it's more do to the lyrical content and vocals being so interesting you don't even think about it. It's only downfall is that it gets a bit sappy with the religious content and also with Max proclaiming his love for his now wife Sherri. I'd say (anything) check it out it's most definitely worth a listen even if you're not that into the band.
Coming four long years after DecemberUnderground (which was either a horrible disappointment or an amazing album depending on your point of view, I fall into the former line of thinking) Crash Love was basically a reboot of AFI and their biggest departure from previous work. However that's merely the surface of this album and that's why I feel a lot of people lost faith in the band or skipped this album. I'll admit it, I was right there with them initially, I mean where were the harsh vocals? The screaming? The anger? The punk influenced sound? After a few listens the screaming was not missed, the punk influence became clear, the horror sound was there way under the surface. This is actually an extremely dark album despite the title and some of their best work to date. This has easily become my second favorite AFI album and I really wish people would give it another chance and look beneath the surface.
Many people, myself included, were introduced to this band with Siren Songs Of The Counter Culture and reaffirmed their interest with The Sufferer And The Witness. However the follow up, Appeal To Reason is either disliked or skipped over, and I have no idea why. This album is amazing. To me it's way more aggressive and in your face with it's politics than SATW and just more raw. Sure there's no screaming really, but if that's your complaint then you were listening to this band for all the wrong reasons. Musically it's like a more polished version of their second album. The tracks that stand out on this album have easily become my favorite Rise Against songs period. It's also really the last album before they just went full mainstream rock in sound. Not saying they sold out, but there's a clear change in sound after this album and it's not for the better.
The follow up to the epic Dead Throne which was a follow up to the amazingly brutal Zombie EP 3:18 is largely shrugged off. At first I ignored it as well, I heard some vocal clips during the recording and it sounded awful but to be honest his screams have always sounded a little too crude, so I got the album and skipped through the tracks failing to give any of them a real chance. After actually listening in depth to this album it doesn't quite live up to Dead Throne but it's a fantastic album, it really shows the band branching out in terms of sound. Don't get me wrong, they're not suddenly making pop-punk sounds but in terms of metal it's a lot more interesting and not as sterile as some previous work. Again the vocals are sort of a let down but they don't completely ruin anything. Give this album a chance you may just find yourself liking it.
I was debating on whether to use this album or Disambiguation, both which are highly under rated albums from this band. However I feel Lost In The Sound Of Separation is the better of the two albums. Coming after their best album Define The Great line, LITSOS had some huge shoes to fill. Vocalist Spencer Chamberlin really comes into his own here, really showing off his range. Overall the band in general is just showing their talent here with writing emotional, atmospheric, post-hardcore/metal-core songs. If you want to hear what this band is capable of then listen to this album. It's just too bad a lot of people skip over it.
I'm sure I'll get some flack for this but I don't really care. This album is amazing and needs to be appreciated. It's the first album from the band after a 8 year hiatus, fans didn't know what to expect. This is definitely an album where you need to set your expectations at the door. If you go in expecting Enema Of The State or Take Off Your Pants And Jacket, chances are you'll be highly disappointed. This is a much more mature Blink 182, with everything from the sound, the lyrics, and the subject matter, the band has abandoned the sophomoric humor which may be a turn off for some. I almost want to define it as post-pop-punk. If you go in not expecting to hear Blink 182 as you know them and are willing to accept a changed band you'll find some of their best tracks.