It’s hard to believe, but AFI has been in the game for about 30 years now, yes, 30 years! Not only has this revelation forced me to accept that I am now middle-aged with my formative years behind me, but it has also made me look back at their back catalogue and applaud their ability to evolve their music whilst not forgetting how they started.

The newest offering, Bodies, feels like the most mature record to date for Davey Havok, Jade Puget, Hunter Burgan and Adam Carson with many tunes holding a more sombre feel than previous albums. It still has moments with more fast-paced tunes, but nothing that meets the high octane level of songs like “The Days of the Phoenix”, “Girls Not Grey” or almost anything from 2006’s December Underground. Still, there are some enjoyable times to be had with Bodies.

The album opens with “Twisted Tongues,” a slow burn of a track with a gentle strumming guitar accompanied by Havok’s softer style vocals. It has moments of levity that are almost grand in nature when juxtaposed with the slower sections of the song; it is a taster of some of the other more subdued tracks on this record. Up next, the pace is quickened with the beat of drums as “Far Too Near” kicks in. This tune has a more grounded feel to it, one more in tune with the band’s more crowd-pleasing songs, with a catchy sing-along chorus and a funky, yet slightly synth-like backing track. Other tracks on this record that fall into a similar vein as this are; “On Your Back,” “Escape From Los Angeles,” and “Death at the Party.”

The most experimental song has to be “Dulceria.” It contains funk-like bass strums along with quite minimal guitar sections and, once again, a synth-like feel. If it wasn’t for Havok’s distinct vocals, I would almost feel that it was a completely different group at points in the tune. Closing out the record is “Tied to a Tree,” a track in a similar vein to the opener which brings the album full circle containing the other 9 songs sandwiched between one epic feature.

There are some good tunes to enjoy on Bodies, but I must be honest, it’s quite different in comparison to other albums by AFI. Still, I would recommend this record and suggest it is approached with an open mind as, at first, I found it to be drab and forgettable but after multiple listens, it began to grow on me.

Bodies Track Listing:

1. Twisted Tongues
2. Far Too Near
3. Dulceria
4. On Your Back
5. Escape From Los Angeles
6. Begging For Trouble
7. Back From the Flesh
8. Looking Tragic
9. Death of the Party
10. No Eyes
11. Tied to a Tree

Run Time: 39:26
Release Date: June 11, 2021
Record Label: Rise Records