Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Alcoholic Faith Mission - Ask Me This

Alcoholic Faith Mission hails from Denmark. Ask Me This is their fourth record. The band plays a strange sort of pop music with occasional hints of shoegaze and folk. This record, the follow-up to 2010’s Let This be the Last Night We Leave. Ask Me This is in general a better, more solid record than its predecessor, though nothing here quite measures to that album’s best song, the soul crushing “Sobriety Up and Left”.
Ask Me This begins with the album’s weakest moment, “Down From Here.” It’s forgettable, and easily skipped. The next song, ‘Alaska” shocks us awake with and an odd guitar, and a catchy melody. A pretty piano leads us into the chorus, and the lines; “it’s the thought of letting go and the hell it will provide that enables me to stay right here choking and these lies.” The chorus is repeated, and the jagged guitar lines return. This is masochistic listening, but it’s engaging and framed by a combination of gorgeous/odd melodies that makes it hard to turn away.
A lilting piano followed by a muffled drum beat starts off “into pieces”. The instrumentation is again strange, oddly sung vocals, weird mouth parts, and distorted melodies. AFF’s music is vaguely reminiscent of Xiu Xiu, but never as hard to listen to as that band sometimes is.
Ask Me This continues through 7 more pop songs before ending with ‘Throw Me to the Wolves.” The song is soft, melancholic and a perfect send off.  The album is full of damaged emotions and fucked up relationships. It’s actually the best place to start with if you’re interested in the band. Previous albums were “growers”, but this one is immediately accessible. It’s April, so it’s early, but come December, if there is any justice, this album will hitting best-of lists everywhere.

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