Review Summary: An immature AFI.
When people look at the review of a legendary band's first release, they are typically checking to see how it compares to the albums that made the band legendary in the first place. In AFI's case, their first release simply does not compare to their Magnum Opus(es). This is not to say that it is not worth listening to. AFI provide a great introduction to the band without any of the flair that is to come in the later releases. This was back when AFI could be very easily placed in one genre, and this genre was hardcore punk. The music is fast paced and raw enough and of the three albums in AFI's early career, Answer That and Stay Fashionable is the best one.
If you haven't heard any of AFI's first releases, you're in for a surprise. Forget about the fantastic horrorcore lyrics you find in their three mid-career albums and forget about the snazzy effects and 80's-esque atmosphere from their latest two. Davey's lyrical style hasn't really came into form yet on this album and although the songs still have meaning behind them, the meaning is more direct and the lyrics are far easier to decipher than on later albums. The vocal delivery itself is also less mature, based upon the fact that most songs have infectious choruses and pop punk hooks. Good examples of this are in the songs “Rizzo In The Box” and “Ny-Quil”. These songs are still great songs, its just that they are very pop punk. Most of the songs found here are faster and more up beat, while being less emotionally-charged than most of their newer songs. The guitar work here mostly consists of chord progressions rather than any sort of melody and to be honest a lot of the songs sound the same.
Although there are a few notable differences between this album and newer AFI albums, a lot of the classic AFI style is still present. For example there are still the stand-out basslines that make the music interesting. There are also still the “Whoa-Oh” backup vocals that dot most of AFI's songs. Whether or not that is a good thing is up to you. Basically the the sound of this album is what you would expect to hear from a less mature AFI. It is indeed worth your time to get this because it has a lot of awesomely catchy songs on it.
Final Rating: 3.5