AFI members’ side project Blaqk Audio

I’m not exactly the biggest AFI fan (though my review of Decemberunderground might have you think otherwise), and certainly not a long time follower of the band (usually the people who think they’ve sold out with their last two albums and exclusively enjoy pre-Sing the Sorrow work). Ironically, my two favorite AFI albums are their last two albums, maybe because I’m a sucker for anything with more melodic drive and sharp studio production.

Enter the group’s solo project Blaqk Audio, consisting of AFI vocalist Davey Havok and guitarist Jade Puget. For fans of AFI’s earlier work, the side-project is probably unwelcome, but for fans of the slick single “Miss Murder,” the completely synth driven project is a pleasant, more industrial version of the punk rock band, complete with Havok’s vocals offset by computer bleeps and blips – think a club version of the Cure’s “Want,” but with nicer hair. The new album, CexCells, will be released on August 14 and features help by producer Dave Bascombe, who has also worked with artists such as Depeche Mode, Echo & the Bunnymen, and Erasure. Check out their MySpace page for some song samples, including the first single “Stiff Kittens,” an amazing electro-pop song with Havok’s trademark eerie lyrics (“How it breaks their hearts / that we’ve made an art / of desecrating our sanctuaries“). “Bitter For Sweet” is a less enjoyable track that brings to mind more stereotypical elements of Assemblage 23’s work, leaving me hoping more of the songs will sound like the former.

Aside from Cut Copy’s new album, this is probably the next release I’m genuinely looking forward to; not bad for two boys in love with synthesizers and software.