New Music Tuesdays: Blaqk Audio – Cex Cells

7 08 2007

by mr. travis

blaqk audio

Artist: Blaqk Audio
Album: Cex Cells
Label: Interscope
Release Date: August 7, 2007

Someone needs to pull Davey Havok aside and smack him upside the head. It’s one thing to expand your sound with A.F.I., a band that has grown and expanded so much since it’s inception that it would be hard pressed to see any similarities from the band’s start to their current status. But, his new side project, Blaqk Audio, is horrible, a techno album that screams vanity project, while giving off visions of a bad SNL sketch, complete with Night at the Roxbury head bobbing.

For starters, the name Blaqk Audio is cringe inducing. Havok is known for being a bit bombastic (like his stage name for instance. Good thing he didn’t call himself Davey Subtle), but misspelling the word black isn’t going to win any new fans, except maybe some 13 year old girl brought up on Cher’s “Believe.” How do you even pronounce that? Bla-que-k? Is that English? And then there’s the title, Cex Cells. Does one really need to get into the stupidity of this title? This lame attempt at a double entendre is too dumb to even be an entendre, it screams its intentions in the same way that a teenager dresses like a Goth, because they HAVE to be cool and different, but in the end, they just look plain ridiculous and will probably regret it five days down the line.

As for the music, well good luck getting past the third song. If you do, Cacophony will send you a fabulous No Prize. Most of it is a lame rehash of land that was already mined by Depeche Mode and New Order twenty years ago and with greater results. As homage, this thing fails so badly, you have to wonder if Davey H. was actually creating a parody, laughing as he continues to piss all over whatever good will his real band A.F.I. had. Actually, the members of A.F.I. should have a sit down with Davey because they’re going to have a lot of damage control to do after this career killing endeavor.

Ultimately, this horrible fucking record will probably do some business because of its affiliation with A.F.I. giving some asshole of a record executive reason to believe that they should push this piece of shit even further. But, in the end, this will be an embarrassing blot on A.F.I.’s resume, an exercise in hubris and ego that is murder to the ears and crushing to the soul. If this thing gets played anywhere outside of some rundown German discotheque outside of Berlin, then Mr. Havok should thank his shining stars, maybe follow it up with a duet with Cher, because at the rate he’s going, that’s what will be happening within a year or two. Stay away from this thing at all costs and if you feel the need to waste your money on this thing, do everyone a favor and give the money to a charity instead. You will feel much better about your life.

A little editor’s/writer’s addendum:

The response to this review has been fairly hilarious, yet at times somewhat strange at the amount of devotion and anger one slight review can bring. Personally, I feel the record sucks (as you can tell from reading it), but that has no bearing on any previous work from the band A.F.I. or the various side projects and guest appearances by Davey Havok. On the contrary, most of the output from A.F.I. has been of an extraordinarily high mark which is the reason for this review’s point of view: There is great disappointment in what has been a much talked about record, both from the fanbase and from Havok and Jade Puget who have been hyping this up since the days of Sing the Sorrow. Every great musician/artist/actor hits a point where they have received so many high accolades and fan support that they begin to show signs of hubris, of overreaching their grasp because they are at the height of their popularity and there is no one there to tell them no. This is that kind of record. As homage it completely fails. As a techno album it’s horrible. As an extension of the A.F.I. family it’s downright terrible. Even the Dork E.P. is better than this. But, it’s okay, the album will sell because the legions out there will buy anything with the A.F.I. stamp. And that’s unfortunate because this is what stokes such vanity projects. Remember album sales don’t necessarily equate greatness, if that’s how you allow your tastes to be decided for you then this album will look nice next to all of those million selling N’Sync records in your collection.

Ultimately, this album will be listened to for the next few weeks after your purchase, but will soon fade away. Two years from now, it will be a joke, a mistake made by Davey Havok and Jade Puget in the days when his band A.F.I. had reached the pinnacle of their existence with sold out tours and stints on MTV (which by the way is not the hallmark of an underground band. This is no longer 1998 kids, A.F.I is just about as big as a band can get these days). A.F.I. has been a huge success and they deserve a lot of the positivity that has come their way, but that doesn’t mean that they should be able to pass off crap, even crap as spitshined and dolled up as Blaqk Audio (and no, misspelling words is not art, though some of you appear to be trying quite hard to make it so). If you wish to listen to a great sideproject/homage then go to Son of Sam, which has Havok doing his best Glen Danzig impression, while actually adding something to the genre. Or listen to the numerous techno/dance groups that this album blatantly rips off. In fact, instead of spending money on this record, go purchase The Best of Depeche Mode Vol. 1, which is song for song, dollar for dollar miles ahead of Blaqk Audio.

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21 responses

10 08 2007
Davey Havok

How dare you write this about my side project!

What albums have you released lately?

Oh yeah, that’s right – none.

Meanwhile, I get to be rich and successful and make awesome music and have millions of people worship me.

So, in conclusion, excuse me – your jealousy is showing.

14 08 2007
Laughin at You!

Perhaps Davey and Jade’s electronic style just isnt for you or just isn’t your style because Blaqk Audio is off to a pretty good start. Have you seen their myspace page? Their forums? There is a pretty damn huge chunk of people including myself who absolutely love the album. In your opinion, you may feel we have bad taste in music, but then again, many may feel the same about you…This is more of a whiny rant than a review.

While there is a chance they may not get a bigger fan base out of this project, they still have a big enough fanbase to be successful to the degree they are comfortable and used to with. Plus, Blaqk Audio’s main inspiration wasn’t supe ultra VIP celebrity fame and status, it was mainly Davey and Jade’s passion for this type of music…Not to also mention, their current tour is sold out at most venues who have had tickets on sale.

Get a grip man. If you can’t find anything intelligent to say, simply think first, don’t write out of passion cause it just sounds like you are talking out of your ass…

15 08 2007
Ryan

Um… you’re kinda dumb. Have you noticed that you actually posted this review before the album even came out? How can you be reviewing something that you probably havent even heard yet?

And Cex Cells is pretty good.. i thought, atleast. You must have bad taste. AFI’s change is completely up to them, if they kept doing the same thing, they’d prolly get bored.

17 08 2007
katie

WTF! ! i have to agree with everyone who has already commented on your lame ass review.i have listened to cex cells and i love it!!!!! im ussually not a fan of dance/techno stuff but being an afi fan drew me to listen to there stuff and so far i love it. i haven’t taken it out of my cd player. but i have to say bagging on blaqk audio, becuse of there name is absolutly retarded. its artistic freedom. if an artist wanted to spell the name of their band wrong and they made good music,id be fine with it.
lastly i don’t see you making tons of money,having devoted fans, and tons of great cd’s.

ps jade puget from afi is also in the band you fucktard

17 08 2007
Meow Mix

Your trully a ignorant fool to speak so harshly on such a brillant work of art. Get a life dude and its selling pretty well so clearly your oppinion is needed as much as a bullet to the head . Its sad an kinda funny you think you or your opinion matters , you and your lame Cacophony Cafe sight , pssh you make fun of the Cex Cells title with a website with a name even more ridiculous.

Drop dead an get a life..

-=Meow=-

18 08 2007
nicko

you cynical asswipe. try writing a review based on objectivity. you came across sounding like a whining bitch. so you dont like the style- fine, but give credit where credit is due… cex cells is a valid album that deserves recognition for its attempted homage and for its flawless production. if you like electronica, you will love cex cells. period. this fuckjob that wrote the review should shut-up and continue listening to his KISS records.

18 08 2007
andy

nice review you dipshit.

19 08 2007
nicole

you are fucking stupid, listen to the shit before you judge it, dont base your fucking opinion off of you views on afi. you probably dont like afi or blaqk audio because you dont like what they stand for. you probably think they are some emo band or whatever. have you listened to their old stuff? answer that and stay fashionable?, Very Proud of Ya? anything? probably not. you are too worried that if you express to the world that you like a band like afi or blaqk audio that people will put you into a group, or think of you different. and you dont wanna be called “emo”. it’s not my fault you are too insecure with yourself to listen to music that you might actually enjoy, stick to your mainstream shit, and live your life being a poser. but as far as afi, or blaqk audio bashing goes with you. you should quit before someone kicks your ass.

21 09 2007
Patricia

I don’t know why people waste their breaths fighting over wether and album is awesome or lame.
everyone has their own taste.
I, personally, think it was the best release of the summer,
no matter what the charts say.
its a great album. kudos.

12 10 2007
Lauren

You’re a fucking idiot.
I hope you choke on your own vomit.

24 12 2007
Shea

I’m always open to poor reviews. Personally, AFI’s last album was a failure in all aspects musically other than putting them in the mainstream, and you can’t hate them for that, everyone needs money. The missing frame however, was an amazing piece, but I don’t want to get into all the musicality.

What I’m trying to say is that you have not posted a single reason for giving Cex Cells a bad review other than the way they spelled the names. Which leads me to believe that you have your own personal vendetta against Davey, and that you yourself are a poor critique. And I was looking for someone with some intelligence.

10 01 2008
fabi

whoa…dude..I hope u don’t write for a career cause you have no class whatsoever!!!

10 01 2008
Debra

dude!!! you have so much anger!! perhaps you should get on some medication cause it seems to me that you are a very sad person.
I am sorry you’re life is so bad that you have to tear down other people because no one likes you.

take care and i hope you get the help that you need.

27 03 2008
Lisa

I listen to this CD almost every day. It’s been 6 months since I bought it and I like it way more than the first time I heard it. There are very few CD’s that I like EVERY song. This is one of them.

I am over 50 and own lots of music to compare this with.

Davey, Jade keep putting them out. You are just getting warmed up.

21 04 2008
Backup; Blaqk.

iight so;; there are so many things i have to say about this review… for starters, Davey AND Jade made this album as a SIDE project for ENJOYMENT, not a rise out of everyone, so don’t be talking like it’s just Davey. Second off, I listen to this album along with many others every single fucking day. Maybe this isn’t your genre of music you like; maybe you belong in with the bimbos who download for free and do not support their artists. Well maybe I like this genre. Well maybe I think this is pure talent. Don’t complain because this is your worst nightmare. It’s not like the subgenres are coming back to life and are ripping up rap and rock all together. Many people LOVE this record. Many people HATE rap music, like myself, but you don’t see me drowning 50 Cent in shame because I think the music I listen to is better than the “shit” he puts out. Fuck that. I have no right to diss up what is not mine, like yourself. The only thing i do is stand up for what I love and do it fucking well, because there’s many things that are going on, but music is, and forever will be, my life. I hope you are content with yourself, I’m going to chew you up some more…

“This lame attempt at a double entendre is too dumb to even be an entendre, it screams its intentions in the same way that a teenager dresses like a Goth, because they HAVE to be cool and different, but in the end, they just look plain ridiculous and will probably regret it five days down the line.”

There are so many things wrong with these words in front of me. This is not what i call lame. This is what I listen to everyday, what makes up my inspiration and i think that i am saying this for so many people, you can’t keep track. No, you may not know me, but who the fuck cares, right? I do, so I’m telling you that you may not know what being “different” means or for the most part what it feels like (I’m not telling you what you are or aren’t, it’s just what comes across). Don’t even dare cross the line and go into a clique which has alot more than black and piercings. this is how people express themselves. JUST LIKE DAVEY AND JADE! How do you express yourself? I don’t know you but let’s just say you’re some pop loving jock. You don’t wear make up, band tees; your hair is flawlessly coiffed and your skin is beautiful. Whatever it is, it’s probably the most common thing. Emo, Scene, Goth, Losers etc. whatever the fuck it is, it’s way more common. this is how you express yourself, no? Well, music that we believe is awesome is a part of how we express ourselves.

I agree with so many people that have commented and who stand up for this music. Yes, I respect you. Yes, I know that it may not have come across that way. GET OVER IT. Yes, you came across as a whiney bitch. I hope you know why i’m posting this. =]

The part on the crime scene that bothers me some more is that you based this off of AFI. As WE ALL KNOW, Blaqk Audio did NOT want this to be pa part of AFI. The always said in interviews that this is totally different and just because they are from AFI, doesn’t mean you have to compare them. THIS IS A FUN THING FOR THEM, not saying “see, we’ve got talent, you suck! we have a rock band and we deal in the electronica buisness”. lay off. for the sake of your mentality. please? As for the “industry”? Fuck it.

Hope you all liked it. =] Have a good one!

10 10 2008
Dave (not havok)

I’ve been an AFI fan since they released Black Sails in the Sunset, and I still prefer their gothic hardcore sound over the newer projects, but there is nothing terrible about this album. I bought it three days ago, and on first listen, it was kinda stupid, but now I love it after only four or five listens. It’s like electronic AFI, since Davey and Jade’s songwriting style is still in tact. It has a similar mood to AFI’s – wintery, dark and nostalgic. It kicks ass. Blaqk (is that how you spell it?) Audio is pretty damn cool. Excellent electronic music.

20 08 2009
anonymous

your full of shit. i still LOVE cexcells over two years after their release. so burn in hell mother fucker.

28 02 2010
drew

this review is full of LULZ

3 08 2010
Isi

U suck at judging. Blaqk Audio is amazing. So shut your face hater.

3 08 2010
Isi

Someone needs to pull you aside and smack you upside the head, you freak. Don’t be a dumbass. You are only embarrassing yourself. Davey Havok has incredible talent. No matter what he does.

3 08 2010
Travis Block

Thank you for your comment on my blog from 3 years ago. I had forgotten about it and on the same token, had forgotten that i had even listened to Blaqk Audio (man, that name still sucks). I’m glad you like it enough that a blog post from three years ago on a piece of work that you had zero hand in creating made you personally offended enough to parrot the blog post in an attempt to attack me. That was awesome. I’m curious though…if Davey Havok has incredible talent in everything he does…would you still like him if he went on a mass murdering spree? Or started a genocide? Or hell, even released an album of Dashboard Confessional covers? The way you and your cult like Davey worshipers talk, I’m a little worried that you would. That’s called group think. It leads to fascism. Scary place I tell you.

Also, you realize you follow a guy in his mid-thirties who still goes by the name Davey, right?

May I suggest some good bands that Davey tries to emulate? They did it before him and did it better. Check out David Bowie, Bauhaus, Young Marble Giants, Depeche Mode, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Cure..heck, even the Misfits or Danzig.

You see, one day you’ll wake up and see that Davey Havok is the epitome of corporate groupthink. He makes you believe that he is the first to do all of this, when in actuality, he is nothing more than a product for you to consume. Everything that A.F.I. has done is a reaction to what sells, not what is art or what is real. You can see it in the way their music shifts in huge jumps instead of a natural progression. The bullshit hardcore didn’t work, so they switched to a Danzig-like punk. Then it was the goth rock. That stopped selling so they switched to middle of the road alternative rock. Davey knows that he can fool you and your fellow Blaqk Audio clique into thinking that what he does is “for you.” All the while Davey and his corporate partners at Interscope cash their huge checks off of your attempt to be cool or different. Oh yeah, A.F.I., and Davey were put on a label run by the guy from the Offspring. That should tell you a lot about how the whole thing is a huge sham.

I feel bad for you, really. Actually all of the people who commented on this silly little review. I feel bad because you have no idea what actually matters. And it’s certainly not terrible music.

Good luck to you and I hope that one day you find music that is actually worth listening to.

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