It has been a quiet few years for AFI’s Davey Havok and Jade Puget. After teasing fans on social media with the arrival of ‘Anointed’ in early February, ‘Material’ marks the rebirth of the electro-pop side project.
Drawing on influences ranging from Daft Punk, Depeche Mode and Einstürzende Neubauten, Blaqk Audio allows the duo to indulge in their goth-glam pseudonyms – bathing in haunting vocals and piercing synthesizers.
Havok sings of a “subtle sense of absence” on the opening track – which is ironic as the album is a statement. ‘First To Love’, ‘To Be Alone’ and ‘Material’ are ambient and sullen, whereas ‘Graphic Violence’ is upbeat and unrelenting.
This record takes you on an emotional rollercoaster with self-deprecating ‘You Will Hate Me’ and the haunting ‘I’m A Mess’. ‘Black at the Center’ is heartfelt as Havok yerns “I’ve been chasing flames then repeat my name/though I’m bound by pain/I can’t deny it”. This proverbial tug-rope of emotions crammed in to one album makes Blaqk Audio’s back-catalogue worth following.