XTRMST released their self-titled, debut album on November 17. The album was set to drop on the 18th, but like many records, it dropped a day early instead to avoid the release of One Direction’s new album.
XTRMST consists of AFI members Davey Havok and Jade Puget, who also make up the electronic band Blaqk Audio. Havok and Puget recently finished touring with AFI in early November, just in time for the anticipation and release of their debut XTRMST album.
XTRMST was released on Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak Records and packs a brutal punch for listeners. The album is described as straight-edge hardcore, and it is definitely hardcore. Understandably, it will probably be difficult for some to listen to with the harsh screams and twisting guitar chords, especially those who are not fans of hardcore or similar styles of music. The idea of the album was to express Havok and Pugets sentiments for the straight-edge subculture and their distaste for recreational drug use in social situations, hence their straight-edge philosophy. Their passion for that philosophy comes through loud and clear on the album, likely alienating some, but that’s not the point.
As always, they’ve created an album for themselves. Like all of AFI’s and Blaqk Audio’s work before this, XTRMST is a reflection of their thoughts and experiences. Through this record, Havok and Puget are able to express an important part of who they are, and whether or not fans gravitate toward the music is not really their concern. I imagine their concern is to get their message out there and have it heard, which it certainly will be.
XTRMST is hoping to have a few tour dates in Los Angeles and New York in the future, but will not be embarking on a full tour. Listen to the new album below and check out the video to their single “Conformist”.
You can purchase a CD here.
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