A while back, I wrote a review where I compared My Chemical Romance to Mötley Crüe. If that's true, then AFI is the Dokken of the dark-and-scary punk/emo scene.
There's nothing wrong with Dokken, as long as you like '80s Southern California hair metal with tight pants and big guitar solos. Likewise, there's nothing wrong with AFI, as long as you like '00s Northern California goth punk with dyed hair and big angst.
If dyed hair and big angst aren't your thing, there's absolutely no reason to listen to Decemberunderground.
AFI may be emotional and they may be genuine, but nothing about Decemberunderground is unique. Every song follows a tried-and-true formula, a formula that exists solely to separate frustrated and angry teenagers from their hard-earned money. This is to punk what Saw IV is to horror movies: It's the cream of the crop of the lowest common denominator.
Oh, look. Bare trees. What a clever metaphor for the anger and loneliness that pervades these songs.
Clichés aside, the package is pretty awesome. The printing is absolutely gorgeous. Several of the photos were staged in a gallery and photographed (or they were Photoshopped by someone with some serious experience behind the mouse), which is a subtle but superb touch. The words are presented in a way that is legible but still creative, and reading the lyrics is a bit unsettling (in a way that compliments the music). Most of the band photos are pretty typical, but the photos of bassist Hunter Burgan are striking.
Listen if you like: Angels and Airwaves, Underoath, Taking Back Sunday, The Used
If it were food, it'd be: A burger from TGIFriday's. It's a commodity, not a creation.