Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes



by ThePalaceOfWisdom USER (39 Reviews)
June 20th, 2008 | 10 replies

Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sure its got that raw punk sound and feel to it, but that gets boring after three albums.

Have you ever heard one of those albums that people tell you are great, only to finally listen to it and find everything that was promised was a lie? Well that pretty much sums up this album. Despite my love fo AFI from their earliest EP's and albums to the newer and somewhat hated material they've released lately, this is the only album I am unable to completely enjoy.

This album is often seen as a transition between the early hardcore punk days of AFI and the darker sound that would be explored by the band later on. Put simply it still contains the fast punkish style found on the previous albums but adds a heavier sound and more mature lyrical approach that would continue onto the next albums.

I'll start with the good; the guitar work on this album is a major improvement over the previous showcasing Mark Stopholese's best material on any record he featured on. The hooks are catchy, the leads are impressive and overall the guitar makes a much more dominant impression than it had on previous efforts. The drumming is solid with Adam Carson providing some excellent fills that complement the vocals and other instruments as well as being the driving force behind some of the songs. The lyrics are also often both catchy and exciting and show off a more mature side of Havok. (You won't find any songs about Cereal here).

Thats about the end of what was good. Now onto the bad; Never have Davey Havok's vocals been any worse. Aside from the occasional shining moment on a few songs (A Single Second, Third Season) the vocals are just bland. 90 percent of the time Havok is yelling/screaming his lungs out and it's just painful to hear. The other ten percent he's singing which is bearable but lacks the range he has shown on other recordings. The other area in which the album falters is the bass guitar; unlike on the previous albums Geoff Kresge is not present on this album and it really shows. With Stopholese dominating the songwriting, the bass on this album is pushed to the side. At times it is almost inaudible and although Hunter Burgan is an impressive bassist he is massivley underutilised throughout the album at the same time however there are songs which showcase his abilities, unfortunately this makes it even worse when he is seemingly absent from some songs.

Overall the album isn't too bad and definetely provides moments where the band provides an excellent performance. Unfortunately inbetween the poor vocal performance on Havok's part and the underutilised bass work, it makes it to difficult to rate this album any higher.

Recommended Tracks:

Third Season
A Single Second
Keeping Out of Direct Sunlight
Coin Return

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Comments:Add a Comment 
June 20th 2008


Album Rating: 2.0

I agree with your opinions for the most part but think this deserves a lower rating even than a 3. If another weirdo tells me this is their best album I will slap them in the face.

June 21st 2008


I like this album a lot actually, and I disagree with your opinion on the vocals. This is much better than their first two albums, as well as Decemberunderground, but it doesn't match up to Art of Drowning or Black Sails.

June 21st 2008


I actually really like this album, its raw fast and heavy, I like my albums just like that.

February 20th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

I'd have to agree with Rasputin on that. It did take me much longer than their other albums to absorb, but give it a few spins and it keeps getting better and better. This kills decemberunderground.

February 23rd 2009


i would actually like to hear this album.
i like daveys yelling vocals.

October 3rd 2009


needs a higher rating, and certainly better than anything they came out with recently.

October 3rd 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

A Single Second is one of my favourite AFI tracks

January 22nd 2010


Album Rating: 3.5

Really getting stuck on this cd.

love it, amazing

May 15th 2011


Album Rating: 4.5

not as good as black sails, aod, sts but this album has my favorite afi lyrics as a whole. the delivery may have something to do with that though.

July 7th 2011


Love this album, PHlow and third season dayumm

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