AFI: Decemberunderground

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.

Music: 2.5 EPFL library cards out of a possible 5
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.

Packaging: 3.5 EPFL library cards out of a possible 5
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.


Katy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katy said...

Hey Chuck!!

Katy here from Sarathan Records, a small indie label from Seattle. I recently came across your blog and enjoy your posts! I thought you might like one of our new artists, War Tapes. They have toured with The Bravery, Smashing Pumpkins and most recently, Tiger Army. They've been described as "Interpol meets AFI with a dose of The Cure".

Anyway, we're offering a free download of their song, "Dreaming of You". You can snag it here: http://sarathan.com/free/wartapes

If you get a chance to listen I'd love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to post the song and share it with anyone you think might be into it. For more info, check out www.myspace.com/wartapes


PS, I double posted:P woops! (hello impatience haha)