The well eyelinered Seattle horror-glam cartoon band Aiden are another one of those bands that I have never liked musically, but whom have received my nod of approval for their blood-on-the-stage live show. These guys, especially photogenic frontman wiL Francis, live for their nightly sets in a way that can only make you adore them a little bit. And if their heart doesn’t win you over, they’re really nice freakin’ guys!

For the follow-up to their highly successful Nightmare Anatomy, Aiden is taking a step in the proper direction, further from post-hardcore emo, and down the road of ’80s new wave as filtered through age. Conviction will piss off many many people for the very same reason that it catches my interest; because it sounds like goth night at a dance club. Scratch that, it doesn’t sound authentically goth rock, but goth in the way that AFI’s last album sounded goth. New wave like the latest Tiger Army sounds. It’s California-ized and modernized, and most definitely emo-ized, but it’s still worlds above what they have done previously.

wiL Francis has a tattoo of a Joy Division lyric scrawled across his neck, “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” He’s made no secret of his love for that era in music and it’s about time he begins exploring that side of himself.

As for the song breakdown: “She Will Love You” is the highlight of the album, “Son of Lies” will confuse you, but it features ’80s pop star Howard Jones so that’s kinda interesting (in a VH-1 Where Are They Now? kind of way), and “Bliss” will make you dance around your room. Album closer, “The Sky is Falling” is the high school heartbreak tune destined to have a dramatic video with some hot goth chick rockin’ out and singing through her smeared eyeliner.

When they turn on the new wave charm, they seem to be onto something, but too much of the album goes flaccid with piano breakdowns and sapped out balladry. Keep the blood flowing boys, because a stagnant Aiden is a boring Aiden.


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