4 of 4 thought this review was well written
AFI at the time was
Davey Havok – lead vocals
Adam Carson – drums, percussion, backing vocals
Geoff Kresge – bass, backing vocals
Mark Stopholese – guitars, backing vocals
The first Ep by AFI. Limited to only 200 copies it was released in March 3, 1993 on Key Lime Pie Records. While disregarded by the mainstream who would eventually embrace their outings over a decade later this is also an elusive gem among many fans. To be straight forward and as many may already know this sounds nothing like anything AFI have put out recently, a decade many could argue and rightfully so as this album is as straight up punk as it gets, and did I mention its fantastic as well?
The first track, "Self Pity", rockets off with a slam of power chords a simple energetic bass line and splashy drums as a young Davey Havok frantically sings in a bratty boyish tone -
I'm always short on cash and my mind is in the trash.
I can't find a way to get my head out of my ass.
I'm gettin' skinny as a bone
'cause I'm always stuck at home.
I'm living my life all ***ed up and alone.
The lyrics while arguably hilarious also foreshadow a bands progression, not imitation, into much darker territory as the band grew. The fantastic chorus -
So I just whine, whine, whine,
whine whine whine
whine whine whine
all the ***ing time.
only makes the song an instant classic for any rebellious and possibly whiny teen. "Red Hat" doesn't stray far from the last songs formula but kicks off with a shout of 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 before Havok sings -
I'm on the sea so bargain with me, so I can be home once again.
to lose ways, to sing, an odd time of death, to lose and not to win.
Again everything about the song screams energetic, with Havoks bratty voice accompanying the surprisingly personal lyrics though out the track. "Nyquil" is unquestionably the instrumental highlight of the album. The frantic drumming with an equally funky and fast paced bass line are the backdrop to the choppy power chords waiting to snap at your ears. Havok instantly confesses -
Sleep. I want to stay in bed all throughout the day, no one bother me.
I don't wanna open my eyes.
I'll lie here in my room. I have no need to see.
No one wake me, I just want to stay right bed.
On recent AFI outings these lines might have been playfully crooned by Havok but at the time when the young vocalist had no idea of his true scope simply half shouted half sang his heart out throughout the song. The Ep ends just as quickly as it began, at slightly three and a half minutes this is an outing not to impress but just because they ***ing wanted to. Everything about the songs on the Ep scream young, vibrant, bratty, even self questioning. Not only foreshadowing darker and much grander things to come from the band the Ep also showcases just how much fun punk music can be.