Many different sounds have been trotted out under the AFI umbrella since the band formed 25 years ago. Listening to a bouncing hardcore song like “Cereal Wars” (from 1995’s Answer That and Stay Fashionable) followed by the operatic and theatrical megahit “Miss Murder” (from 2006’s Decemberunderground) can cause the aural equivalent of whiplash.
But there are a few things that the big tent of AFI can’t hold. Even within the seismic stylistic shifts, AFI is still rock music made with guitar, bass, drum, and keyboards. To abandon that entirely, band members would need a new avenue. That’s where Blaqk Audio came in. Hatched in 2007, the band has already produced two albums of stratospheric dance music completely devoid of AFI’s more grounded sounds.
Uproxx is premiering “First to Love,” a new track off of the group’s third album Material. The track features a driving, trance-like synths and big-room flourishes while still holding on to the anthemic, shout-along qualities that frontman Davey Havok has become known for since AFI’s mid-’00s breakthrough.
“Being huge music fans and fundamentally driven by music in a creative sense, BA is a wonderful outlet for our long-standing love of electronic music,” Havok said. “Were it not for BA, I’d still be writing this type of music, even if it never saw the light of day.”
Havok’s love of the genre is apparent in the new track, which comes off like a continuation of New Order’s “True Faith” or a slightly darker, more club-leaning Duran Duran.