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AFI ("A Fire Inside") is a scathing hardcore punk outfit from Northern California whose music generally evokes a tearing open of flesh and spilling out of viscera. That said, the band is talented and adventuresome, taking violent hardcore aggression as the foundation and incorporating other moods and styles, thus making their music considerably more interesting than typical monotone hardcore punk expressions of rage and disenfranchisement. AFI's vision is decidedly bleak, making them a challenge to listen to, but if you're up for it, it's a satisfying cathartic experience. At their live shows, audiences reportedly yell, "Through our bleeding we are one" as the band takes the stage, which should give you a good idea of the intensity of AFI's music -- and of their audiences' engagement with it.

AFI started, as so many bands do, in a garage. This particular garage was in Ukiah, way up at the north end of California, and the band members were high school students looking for something to do when they weren't skateboarding. They were singer Davey Havok, guitarist Mark Stopholese, bassist Geoff Kresge, and drummer Adam Carson. Soon the quartet was playing venues and had released a 1992 split seven-inch with another Ukiah hardcore band, Loose Change. The band split up when its members left for college, but eventually reunited and began releasing records on Huntington Beach-based Nitro Records, the label owned by The Offspring's Dexter Holland. AFI's first LP was Answer That & Stay Fashionable in 1995. Very Proud of Ya and Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes followed in '96 and '97, before Kresge then left the band, to be replaced by Hunter Burgan (aka Steve Angel) of The Force. In '98 AFI recorded their A Fire Inside EP on Adeline. Before their next studio album, Black Sails at Sunset, Stopholese departed and was replaced by Jade Puget of Redemption 87. The band went on to release their All Hallows EP in '99 and a fifth LP, The Art of Drowning, in 2000.

"Over Exposure" comes from the A Fire Inside EP, which also features a great cover of The Cure's "The Hanging Garden."

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