Sex sells, and so should the new album from Blaqk Audio

In 1999, AFI started to drift away from their East Bay Hardcore days with the release of the album Black Sails in the Sunset. Black Sails was darker, there was more variety between tracks, and it may not have sounded as “punk” as past releases, but it seemed like an element had been added to kindle their fire inside. With the addition of a new member that shared similar musical tastes with singer, Davey Havok, the wheels were set in motion for a new side project that has been five or six years in the making.
After guitarist Jade Puget joined AFI in 1998, the changes were “pretty obvious. All you have to do us listen to the records before Black Sails In the Sunset. We took a darker direction musically and lyrically,” Puget said.
Havok and Puget were united by their love for 80’s electronica music that the other two members of AFI did not necessarily share. “I’m sure that some of the bands they listen to that have those elements, but Davey and I are more so fans of that music. Adam (Carson, drummer) likes more indie rock and I don’t think Hunter (Burgan, bass) is a big electronica music fan necessarily,” Puget said.
Around 2001 Havok and Puget began brainstorming for an electronica side project, Blaqk Audio, which did not release their debut album, Cex Cells until last month.
“Davey and I have been fans of electronica music since the 80’s and had talked about it. I knew how to write songs, I just started messing around with software, trying to figure out how to program them on a computer and taught myself, and we decided why not just do this?” Puget said.
Through the miracle of technology and some downtime on the last AFI tour, Puget and Havok finally had some time to devote to Blaqk Audio. “I actually wrote a lot of the material on tour within last six months to year. We released two of the most successful AFI records (and basically did not have time). On these last few tours I was able to sit around and finally put this album together,” Puget said. When Havok and Puget were apart, they functioned similar to the band the Postal Service. “We used the postal service and through email and computers we put together songs and thru the miracle of technology, we were able to have this project without even being in the same city,” Puget said.
Cexcells is like Davey Havok meets Depeche Mode. There are musical similarities to New Order, The Cure, and The Faint. The first track “Stiff Kittens” is the first single, and surprisingly is doing well on the radio despite the fact that it is an electronica song.
“Stiff Kittens” does not do the album justice though. There are slow, emotional songs, danceable tracks with pounding synth beats, and a whole talk about sex.
“There are a lot of references to sexual relations and dynamics between people. It’s kind of a double entendre that deals with both themes lyrically, (one being) sexual relations. Not in a sleazy way, but an academic way more focused on the dynamics of the people involved. It ties into the lyrical schemes of the album. That is the kind of lyrical content you’d never find on an AFI record. If musically someone is trying to find something like AFI, they’re not going to find that,” Puget said.
Check out the tracks “Snuff on Digital,” “On A Friday” “Semiotic Love” “Again, Again, and Again.”

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