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Album Review

Blaqk Audio may be a pleasant distraction for AFI's Davey Havok and Jade Puget — most side projects are — but given the depth of Cexcells' tracks it sounds like a little more. And if the duo is swayed by sales — the record is keeping pace with regular AFI albums — it could head that way. Working from the dark electronic tones set free on AFI's most recent records, Decemberunderground included, Havok and Puget fully indulge their inner eyeliner-wearing '80s club kids here: "Stiff Kittens" and "Where Would You Like Them Left?" recall Depeche Mode at their most disturbing, while "Wake Up" and "The Fear of Being Found" tread more quietly but with no less determination. A couple of goth-tinged dance tracks, "On a Friday" and "Snuff on Digital," also deliver an authentically synthy experience, which may sound impossible but isn't. Havok and Puget borrow from their forebears but inflate these tracks with their own odd brilliance (and flourishes, and beats). Fans of AFI, and anybody who never heard a blackish blast of modern electronic music they didn't like, ought to investigate Cexcells.

Customer Reviews


[Please excuse the long review!] This album exceeded my expectations by a longshot. Davey and Jade go in an entirely new direction, so obviously their work on Blaqk Audio should NOT be compared in any way to AFI. Jade's synths are mesmerizing and Davey's voice is better than ever. These boys know what they're doing. Yum. Here are my thoughts, song-for-song: 1. Stiff Kittens - this single is definitely one of the best songs on the album. Very well done, great lyrics; Davey's voice sounds hot. 2. Between Breaths (An XX Perspective) - the beat is slow and dark, and the "take it easy on me" chorus is awesome. The verses are a little boring, but the chorus makes up for it. 3. Stuff On Digital - very techno-sounding and danceable as always, but it's only so-so. 4. Bitter For Sweet - an interesting track; the lyrics are fantastic and it has a darker feel altogether. It's great, but not my favorite. 5. Where Would You Like Them Left? - what a killer chorus. I love this song! 6. The Fear of Being Found - Stunning. The synths are just gorgeous, the lyrics, everything...beautiful. Definitely one of my favorite songs off the album. 7. On a Friday - I adore this song; the way it's put together is awesome. Very catchy. "Let's cut fast to the car crash, where the future went down with the past..." Great lyrics. 8. The Love Letter - great track. The piano is lovely; the lyrics are wonderful. The "walk right through me" bit is my favorite part--the way the vocals are arranged is genius. 9. Semiotic Love - the chorus is undeniably catchy, but this song can get pretty annoying. Not my favorite, but the melody and synths are contagious. 10. Cities of Night - this song is a bit generic and seems like just filler to me. 11. Again, Again and Again - wow, this track is catchy. I love Davey's voice on this song; the chorus is absolutely infectious and the verses flow well with it all. 12. Wake Up, Open the Door - a very pretty, haunting song; I find it calming to listen to. Just beautiful. 13. Black Electric - this song is heavy on the dance-y synths, but it's fun to listen to. Once again, the chorus is its strong point. My reccommendation would be not to buy seperate tracks off this album, but to fully appreciate the talent of these two FABULOUS boys by purchasing the whole thing. It's an addicting, well put-together record and you will not be disappointed!

What should mean nothing to you has left a poison running

The musical inspirations on this album range anywhere from synth pop, dark wave, industrial, trance and ambient. This is a very unique, and beautiful album. Stand out tracks include "The Love Letter:" a piano laced, and dramatic song of forboding and my personal favorite track "Cities of Night" which dances to the beat of '80s gloom and delievers a synthesized arena rock solo. There are a couple of songs which almost seemed to pay homage to those 10-minute repetitive club anthems of the '90s, but Davey's voice and incredible lyrics more than make up for it. If you like AFI, DM, New Order, VNV, or even The Cure, pick up this album.


I'm not a huge AFI fan, but this album is pretty damn good. But, for everyone who thinks this is techno, well, it isn't. Yes, yes, it's electronic, but that doesn't mean it's techno or trance. This is more along the veins of synth-pop. Future-pop, to be more precise. It's a type of hard-edged, melodic music that stems from EBM (Electronic Body Music) and New Wave. Not really popular here in the states, so you probably won't find it outside of goth clubs. There really isn't many good "future-pop" bands in existence right now. Assemblage 23, VNV Nation, Mind.In.A.Box. are good examples of the genre. But mostly, the genre tends to imitate cheesy epic trance melodies, mixed with flat baritone vocals and sub-par english. But, maybe Blaqk Audio will be this genres break into the mainstream. But on the otherhand, I'm afraid that Blaqk Audio might be some mainstream anomaly, and no other group will be but on the spotlight.


Formed: 2002 in Ukiah, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Although AFI singer Davey Havok and guitarist Jade Puget had been working on songs for their electronic side project Blaqk Audio since before AFI's breakthrough album Sing the Sorrow came out in 2003, it took a few years for the music to see the light of day. The success of their group's major-label debut prevented the two from spending much time on Blaqk, though Puget still continued to bring programmed sounds into AFI's repertoire, both on Sing the Sorrow and 2006's Decemberunderground. Finally,...
Full Bio
CexCells, Blaqk Audio
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  • $6.99
  • Genres: Alternative, Music
  • Released: Jan 01, 2007

Customer Ratings