Artist – AFI
Album – Decemberunderground
I have to admit, I am an AFI apologist. When they released Sing The Sorrow, I defended them to all the punks who thought they had sold out. I actually believed it was a rather well put together record, and was probably one of their best efforts to date. What Sorrow had and Decemberunderground lacks is a theme. A way to make the tracks seem like they belong together, in some sort of unified harmony, for example. What the new record does have is a new single that resembles, if not replicates, a track off of Green Day’s American Idiot. If there is any track off this record that does not belong and never should have been recorded, it is the new single “Miss Murder”.
Having said that, the rest of the album mixes their old school punk days with the theatrics and production of their last record. AFI always manages to make me think of summer nights at the lake with their records, and I know that is a strange connection to make, but they continue that feeling with this one. Maybe it’s just me. With tracks like “Summer Shudder” and “The Interview” the group tends to get lost in the song, and the tracks grow a little stale. “Love Like Winter” is reminiscent of War-era U2, and the disk itself has that kind of feel to it.
Davey goes back to his screamo-melodic vocals on “Affliction” which only adds to the albums clutter. The U2 sound comes back on “The Missing Frame”, and even though it does not necessarily sound like AFI, it’s probably the best track on the record. The record ends with some unlisted song that is barely a minute and a half long, but could have developed into an album track if they gave it a little more room to grow. The album is good if viewed from a stand alone point of view, but their going to lose some more fans, which is inevitable with the punk industry once you sell more than 500,000 albums.
6 out of 10-B
If you like this record, try:
AFI – Sing The Sorrow
Alkaline Trio – From Here To Infirmary
Strung Out – American Paradox