This is AFI's second full length album recorded, and the first to be made into CD format courtesy of Nitro Records. It was released in June of 1996. Answer That And Stay Fashionable was released a year before this album, but only on vinyl. Then after the success of Very Proud Of Ya, AFI decided it would be wise to re-release Answer That And Stay Fashionable in 1997 on CD format under their new record label Nitro.
It has changed over the years, but for this album it is:
Davey Havok: Vocals
Adam Carson: Drummer
Geoff Kresge: Bass
Backup guitar on No Dave Party: Paul Marchand
Backup vocals: Nick 13 (Now Singer and Guitarist of Tiger Army) and Jade Puget (Now AFI guitarist)
I am going to give you the full review here. This album is technically 24 songs long and I am going to review all of them. Some of you won't have all of these tracks however. Vinyl owners have 23. CD owners have 21, but they may not know of one. I own the album on CD, but I have the vinyl tracks downloaded, so I am reviewing them all. And this is my first review, so sorry if I screw up somewhere.
Songs Piece By Piece:
Track #0 - No Dave Party
This is the one CD owners may not know of. In order to hear this track, when you put the CD in the slot, rewind immediately. You should come up on a lot of extra negative space to track one. This is a hidden song at the beginning of a CD called "No Dave Party". As the title suggests, the only member absent from this song is the singer, Davey Havok. It's a nice instrumental with feedback closing out the song. It does sound a little like "Blitzkrieg Bop" though. Still a good song. 4/5
Track #1 - He Who Laughs Last...
Starts off with a nice simple drum beat, and then the guitar and bass come in playing lower and lower with each chord change then breaking down and stopping when you hear "NO TRUST". Then the guitar and bass continue to play after that is said and the verse is continuing. You hear these "NO TRUST" parts done throughout the whole song except with different words. They are done nicely and the other instruments do not stop when said the other times however, they simply play two times as in the two syllables in the "NO TRUST"-type statements. This is an excellent song and one that really got me hooked on AFI and got me interested in real punk. Easily a 5/5
Track #2 - File 13
Starts out straight into the verse riff, but after a few times through, there is a pretty sweet sounding bass line, but from here this is a veeerrry easy and simple song. It's pretty much the same 3 chords used throughout the verses and choruses with an extra chord played very little throughout the verse. The solo is pretty easy two. Only 3 notes. But don't let all that deter you from this song. It is a very classic AFI song. This is a track that can really define the early years of AFI. I really like the chorus. Very sing-along. It's very short and sweet and alternates between Davey and backup really nicely. 5/5
Track #3 - Wake-Up Call
Starts off with a short guitar part and quits to reveal a fast paced drum beat. Repeat. 2 more times but with another guitar part instead of the absence of guitar on the previous two. Pretty standard verse. Then the chorus comes. I really like how the chorus is chopped up per se. Two chords played as two words sung as two bass notes played. It's really catchy. Then another verse comes in with the chorus following. Then my favorite part comes in. It's kind of a pre-bridge, but it's not another verse. There is a lyric in here I really like: "I wish that I could help you, but I can't even help myself. It seems you need a saving grace, but a savior's something I'm not." Then the bridge comes in and at first it's the guitar that stands out, then it changes to a line where the guitar is palm-muted and the bass really stands out on this part. Then the weird part I mentioned earlier closes out the song. 5/5
Track #4 - Cult Status
Song begins with a simle drum beat (uses something I don't know the name of because I know nothing about drums) and a pretty catchy bass line comes in shortly after. Short palm-muted guitar part before transitioning into the verse which speeds up drastically. Alternating vocals in the chorus make it a catchy song overall. Standard AFI song from the 95-96 years. 4/5
Track #5 - Perfect Fit
A full instrumental intro is used for the first time on this album in this song. The verse is palm-muted on the guitar and the bass is present on this part of song. Then the muting stops when the pre-chorus begins. A chorus added then repeat the whole process again. Davey in the verses says the word "think" or "thinking" a whole lot and it sounds annoying while written out like this, but really, I think it adds life to this song. Overall good and a variation of some sorts from the rest of the album. 4/5
Track #6 - Advances In Modern Technology
There is a really cool guitar riff at the beginning of the song and when played through the second time, the bass and the bass drum are added in. Then straight into the verse. I can't exactly pinpoint it, but I think this is one of (if not the) first times Davey has used the hint of sadness he uses in AFI's more modern lyrics. Parts like "No hope at all" and "I can't recall a moment in my life when life was at it's best" from the chorus enforce my theory. Anyhow good song, but there's better on this album. The bridge is the same as the intro musically, but vocals are added and they are screamed by the way. 4/5
Track #7 - Theory Of Revolution
One of the shortest on this album, the intro is instrumentally the same as the verse, just a little more chopped up than the verse is. The song is pretty standard. Not that it is a bad thing mind you. The chorus is maybe the easiest one to memorize on this album. It's just a main line and a variation of it. There is a nice little bass line at the end of the bridge however. A pretty awesome song, especially for being one of the worst on the CD in my opinion. 3/5
Track #8 - This Secret Ninja
This song I fell in love with at a first listen to it. While to some people the songs so far sound monotonous, this is a definite change of pace. A catchy guitar chord progression begins the song. The song is a lot slower than the other songs on here, but that by no means makes this a "slow song". While the same progressions are used most of the song, it really never gets old. 5/5
Track #9 - Soap Box Derby
Pretty nifty mostly palm-muted guitar starts off the song, with a short bass part near the end. Drums and vocals follow in a medium-paced record. Almost as slow as the previous song until you add in the fast and furious chorus. The transitions between chorus and verse are actually done quite nicely. Not too much else to say about this one, but that it's one of my favorites off this AFI release. 5/5
Track #10 - Aspirin Free
This is the album's longest track clocking in at 2:45. One heavily distorted guitar chord begins the song with a drum beat and a slide on bass soon after. This song gets stuck in my head a lot. Very very good. The thing I most like is how in the verses, there are brief pauses with instruments and vocals. The vocals and music follow each other in the verses, but not all the way. There is some variation. "I'd purify the world with one primal scream, but no one would listen." I love that line and the way Davey holds out the last syllable in "listen". Second best on this CD in my opinion. 5/5
Track #11 - Fishbowl
Yes, oddly enough this song is about a fish in a fishbowl. But without knowing the title of the song, you would actually think it's some sort of deep emotional piece in a punk song. The song scared me the first time I heard it on this CD. In the intro, the guitar is not nearly as loud as the previous songs on the CD. I thought the recording level went way down, but about 15 seconds after the beginning, the bass comes in normally and everything is alright again. Then you realize the guitar at the start has a really cool effect on the song. Well, I do at least. Decent song, not the greatest, but good. 4/5
Track #12 - Charles Atlas
Feedback begins the song with a power chord and fast drum beat soon after. After almost every line Davey sings in the verse, another Davey (but with an effect) repeats the line in another way. What I mean by that is emphasis on different words. It seems this song is referring to the band itself or maybe the local scene they played in at the time before this album was released on Nitro. I don't know why, but the line "When you change the channel, we'll smash your TV!" gets stuck in my head a lot. The whole song does too. It's really a catchy song and fun to sing with another person as your backup if he/she knows the words as well. At about 1:45, there is a guitar solo lasting until 1:53. Short and easy. After that, the instruments sound like they might as well be playing a ska song. I read somewhere that this is one of AFI fans' least favorite songs. I have no idea why. This song is a highlight of the CD for me. 5/5
Track #13 - Crop Tub
1..2..3.."Fuck"..1..2..3.."YOU....VERY MUUUUCH!!!" That is how the song starts. I gotta admit, I didn't get it at first until I realized I think he's replacing "thank you..." with "fuck you..." AHAHAHAHA haha ha........eh..I'm slow. Okay, Davey's voice in this has an effect on it throughout the entire song. I think it's the same as done in the previous song. The chorus and verse merge together really unnoticeably. They are almost the same. Geoff pulls out a really nice sounding bass line during the middle of the song and it is the highlight of the song for me. Decent, not too special however. 3/5
Track #14 - Consult My Lover
Although not the title track, the chorus in here suggests that this is where the title "Very Proud Of Ya" came from. Short instrumental parts come in for two brief intervals. Then the song starts up. The verse seems just about average maybe better, but the chorus really makes this song special for me. The lines are all just variations of the first line "I'm proud of you". But its really catchy and the backup "whoah"s make it a lot better. After a while the bridge comes in and is like a breakdown and everything is slowed down considerably, then the chorus comes back and after that, Mark comes in for a short but sweet guitar solo to close out the song. 5/5
Track #15 - Take The Test
The song may get repetitive for some, but I love this song. Quite catchy in every aspect of the song. Adam graces us with a nice drumroll at the beginning of the song and it heads right into the verse. Here's what some people may find repetitive. The verse is sung in the same short chopped up words the whole way through. I like it, but I can see how some people may not. This song slows down in the middle as well. The end is what I really like about this song because of the backing vocals chanting during the last chorus. It makes me wish I was around at the time they were still playing songs from this CD on tour. Well, I know they are still playing one from this album, but we haven't got there yet. 4/5
Track #16 - Two Of A Kind
Think the beginning sounds familiar? You probably heard this on their first full-length, Answer That And Stay Fashionable, if you answered yes. This was one of two songs which appeared on that release and this one as well. I don't know why, because this song and the other that made the extra appearance are the worst on both albums in my opinion. Fast guitar part starts off the song and then a slow bass part comes in. It's a pretty fast song and it's alright, but the more you listen to it, the more it wears out for me. Another slowed down bridge. ENOUGH ALREADY!!! Just an average song. Second worst on this CD, but still good if your not tired of it yet. 3/5
Track #17 - Shatty Fatmas
Isn't it my luck to have my favorite song on the CD trapped between my 2 least favorite songs on the CD. This song is awesome. I sometimes find myself putting in this CD solely so I can hear this song. It's that **** good. I'm pretty sure this is a song that Nick 13 lends a hand in. He backs up Davey all the way through the verses. I'm not 100% that it is him, but I am a big Tiger Army fan and I'm almost certain that is his voice. And that alone brings this song up. Also, say goodbye to the slow bridges that brought down the last 3 tracks. This song speeds up for the bridge and is probably the fastest part on the whole album. Good for fans of old-school hardcore like me. I jam out to this song everywhere and my air guitar is always there with me for this song in particular. Best song on CD. 5/5
Track #18 - Yurf Rendenmein
This is the other song originally on Answer That And Stay Fashionable. I didn't understand this song title until recently though I have had this album for a while. If you don't understand it yet, say it out loud...... Witty ain't it? One power chord is held for the first part of the intro, then a small bass solo from Geoff comes in and that's the best part of this song. This song is average. Can't really say much. I like the original version better though they're almost exactly the same. Worst song on this CD, but still listenable. Might wear out on you like "Two Of A Kind". 3/5
Track #19 - Cruise Control
Ahhhhh, another gem after a so-so song. This is the only song I know for a fact they still play on tour after all these years. Unlike every other song on here, this song starts off immediately with Davey singing and the instruments playing simultaneously. I really like the guitar part in this song while I'm sure everyone else will like this song mainly for the lyrical aspect of it. Which is nice, but obvious. The song is about a girl that keeps trying to sleep with the guy though he refuses to for unmentioned reasons. The chorus goes "I don't want to fuck you (x3) So FUCK YOU!!!". Classic song, much energy compressed into this wonderful piece. 5/5
Track #20 - Modern Epic
What a coincedence that this song starts out sounding well "epic"! Some harmonics are played on guitar before entering the verse. But for such and "epic" song, the chorus is one line simply drawn-out and repeated "Don't ever let go!" That's all there is to the chorus. Nothing musically accomplishing here. Just a standard song really to close out your album (if you own it on CD that is). A cool, energetic, almost perfect way to follow up a song like Cruise Control. 4/5
Continued again with vinyl songs and conclusion...
Track #21 - Who Said You Could Touch Me? (Vinyl Only)
This song starts out with a bass intro that is the same line as the verse, but it's the only thing played. I love this song. It reminds me of AFI's real early stuff off their first few EP's. A great sing along song and the backing vocals are great. I like how Davey does a count in the middle of the song because it doesn't start with 1, but with 2 and goes up to 8. For Some reason, I just like that part best. Classic song plain and simple. 5/5
Track #22 - Rolling Balls (Vinyl Only)
One of AFI's rare attempts at a comedy song. And it succeeds in my opinion. The song is about a guy who really loves bowling, but is not really good enough for the local men's team. But he is for the local women's team. So he decides to chop off his manhood to join the team and does just that. The beginning is average with a short bass solo at the end of the intro. There's another similar bass solo near the end of the song. During the verses, there are short pauses with a snare in the middle of them. Really fun and adds to the comical effect in this song. The end is quite epic. Good song overall especially if you know the words. 4/5
Track #23 - Love Is A Many Splendored Thing (Vinyl Only)
A short scream begins this street punk sounding song. It is the most street song on here. Maybe that's why a duet was done with their friends Rancid for this song. But it really is a fast-paced wonderfulness all wrapped up in 1 minute and 28 seconds. The chorus is pretty much "I hate you!!" throughout the whole thing. Good song, but nothing to write home about. 4/5
There you have it. An early venture by AFI. They have sure come a long way to get where they are today. Status-wise and musically as well. This is excellent for an AFI fan looking to get more into their early stuff. It's also a great introduction to punk music and what it's all about. I know I may rate these a little high, but I really wasn't a huge fan of punk until I heard this the whole way through. I used to be all into classic rock until I gave punk an honest chance. This CD helped sway me in that direction and I never looked back. This is why I give this CD such a good rating. It really can change anyone's opinion if they come in listening with an open mind.
Buy it if you like punk or old hardcore. If you aren't sure, download a few songs first.
Very good review. All the songs I've heard from this I really like. I completely agree with "Charles Atlas" and "Wake Up Call" being excellent songs, and very underrated by many fans. :thumb:
The only thing that's worse than ATASF is Davey's voice in my opinion.
Hmmmm, I have all of AFI's albums, I don't mind this album sometimes but I'd rather listen to Black Sails or Art of Drowning, those 2 albums are far superior to what AFI used to do, but again I love AFI and this album has some great songs, like Perfect Fit, This Secret Ninja, File 13 and Cruise Control
this is a great album. this secret ninja and soap box derby are my favorites. i agree with sep, davey's voice seemed to get worse from VPOY to ATASF. still great though. great review too, very informative, i didnt know about the No Dave Party song, thanks.
Amazing album! Although I downloaded it off torrents, and so I didnt get the hidden track
Nice review, I didnt read what remainder you had of it because you ran out of room. For albums really long like this, I guess people should do overall reviiews, not track-by-tracks. But do what you will, what I read was good :thumb: