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AFI - Decemberunderground (Cover Artwork)

AFI

AFI: DecemberundergroundDecemberunderground (2006)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: AubinAubin
(others by this writer | submit your own)

To prepare myself to write a review of AFI's second major label album, and perhaps biggest musical shift, I decided to sit down with my entire AFI back catalog and try to figure out what kind of reference points I could use to put the sheer magnitude of the changes in context. I began with the band'.
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To prepare myself to write a review of AFI's second major label album, and perhaps biggest musical shift, I decided to sit down with my entire AFI back catalog and try to figure out what kind of reference points I could use to put the sheer magnitude of the changes in context. I began with the band's decidedly straightforward sophomore full-length, Very Proud of Ya, which was about the most conventional thing the band ever recorded, but featured so many great little songs: "Cult Classic," "Modern Epic" and a sound that was decidedly rooted in Southern California melodic hardcore. At the time, AFI was a staple of skateboarding mixtapes, and I can almost guarantee that any tape we took to the park had at least one AFI, one Guttermouth, one Operation Ivy and one 88 Fingers Louie track on it.

Of course, the very next album the band recorded dropped some of the snotty attitude and bolstered the sound with a lot more venom; the oft-cited classic, Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes is many things: a band embracing their dark side, a wonderful and murderously aggressive piece of hardcore punk, and, an album that managed to piss off at least half their skate/punk fans. By the time I got to my favorite, Black Sails in the Sunset, one thing became perfectly clear to me: AFI always pisses off half their fans. I can still remember hearing my friends refer to Black Sails as "metal shit" and writing the band off forever. If I had done the same, I would have certainly missed out on one of the most capable marraiges of gothic darkness and hardcore bluster; the same could be said for their next album, Art of Drowning, which frequently dialed down the momentum to give front-man Davey Havok a chance to actually sing.

When the band signed to a major -- on the urging of their former label, at that, they released an album which was firmly rooted in hardcore punk. The addictive single "Girl's Not Grey" sounds like Glenn Danzig fronting Bad Religion, and while I didn't entirely grasp the record immediately, it soon grew on me and fit very naturally after Drowning. Nevertheless, I can tell you that half my friends hated that and there is a good chance they'll hate Decemberunderground.

Because if they do, they'll miss another startling evolution in a band that has made it their mission to shock, rock and challenge their fans at every turn. The first single, "Miss Murder" with its Evita-styled video and grimey, rock'n'roll vibe is actually a far more appropriate tone-setter than the single hardcore track "Kill Caustic," which oddly appears at the very beginning of the album and is as out of place there as anywhere else on the album, unfortunately. By "Summer Shudder," it becomes adequately clear what the band is aiming for with the album: a synthesis of three main influences: Nine Inch Nails, the Cure and New Order; abundantly so in fact, based on Jade Puget's effects-laden instrumentation and vocal pyrotechnics courtesy of Mr. Havok.

The absence of the Danzig influence is probably one of the most striking aspects of the album; the band's previous singles "Girl's Not Grey" and "The Leaving Song, Part 2" were defined by that sound; completely gone is Davey's beloved, but Danzig-aping "whoa"s and his yelling voice, which was a staple of pretty much every AFI record save Very Proud of Ya and Fashionable.

Another shock comes in the form of the `80s-influenced "Love Like Winter," with Depeche Mode-style loop accompanied and heavily affected guitars. It sounds like it could have been horrible, but the melody is just too memorable. But it's not until "Affliction" that the band turns up the heat again; with the minor annoyance of Davey's metalcore-style opening vocals, it's a definite crowd-pleaser and sure to be a live favorite. "Interview," conversely, will become a living room favorite and is a mellow and dreamy affair carried by Davey's anthemic vocals and intricate instrumentation.

OK, I did lie when I said the "whoa"s were gone; they briefly resurface in "Missing Frame," but you'll barely notice as the band ventures into art-punk territory, sounding as much like Gang of Four and Mission of Burma as AFI. "Killing Lights" sounds virtually identical to a Cure song in its opening moments but soon returns to the rock with a nice guitar-heavy chorus. The last two tracks are perhaps the most unusual songs the band has ever done; "37mm" is almost entirely electronically backed, and a song that's certain to fit in perfectly at the next `80s music night at your college club.

The closer (at least for American listeners) is "Endlessly She Said," which is probably as close to Art of Drowning's slower moments as anything on the album; a darkly melancholy song and remarkably pretty, for lack of a better word. And while this band has been essentially the same unit since Black Sails, this track closes an album which bears the least resemblence to any of that record and not just the sound, or the performances or the songwriting.

Other then minor sequencing problems, and Davey's regrettable "metalcore" style scream on two tracks, the album is remarkably strongly written and musically cohesive for one that combines so many unusual influences. Of course, I miss the old AFI as much as anyone, even though it's anyone's guess what the old AFI actually is. The truth is, even Sing the Sorrow was three years ago, and Very Proud of Ya was a full decade past. The expectation of a return to that sound is a denial of the band's right to grow, and I'd be more disappointed to hear them trying to rewrite music they don't have in them anymore.

In the end, while every band seems to be working to revive the notion of the concept album, from odd science fiction plots to messianic stories of the suburbs, what AFI has done is deliver a different kind of concept album altogether: a modern hardcore/punk band writing an retro-`80s goth/rock album and in that, an unqualified success. Decemberunderground is a remarkable album, and one that is many great things: goth, industrial, punk, electronic, though it isn't the AFI you remember. But it never is.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
AFI - Sing The SorrowThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Against Me! - Searching For A Former ClarityThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldNOFX - The DeclineRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteAFI - Black Sails In The SunsetBouncing Souls - The Gold RecordAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyRise Against - The Sufferer & the Witness

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
TEARS (March 25, 2009)

you guys are so awesome everyone should luv you j/k but really @$%&

mill83 (November 10, 2008)

I've dug on AFI for longer than most people that have posted on this review, it seems, and I can confidently say this: the band playing on this album is not AFI. You can take it or leave it, that's the truth. I'm not saying that this album sucks, it's just not the AFI I know. The AFI I know was the band that I skated to when I was in 8th grade and listened to in my car when I turned 16. Sing The Sorrow came out when I was a freshman in college, and it worked for me then even though it was pretty far off the AFI-beaten path.

decemberunderground is not an AFI album if you compare it to an older album. I love old AFI with a passion, and people can tell me that the band "evolved" or sold out or whatever, I don't care. This is not the AFI that I know. Is that a bad thing? For me it is, cause I loved their old music. If you dig it, then cool, but when a band changes their sound this much, they're not the same band, so I think it's wrong to call this an AFI album.

Their next one in 09 should be interesting.

cpk83 (October 3, 2008)

i gave this a one even though they're my favorite band... this is because it is like every other pop punk band. and that's not who AFI really is. this CD made me sick. now the only song that i concerned good was the killing lights that was it I'm sorry guys but when its time its time you've sold out big time epically with that blaqk audio that was terrible i don't believe that was Davey Havok or Jade Puget I'm sorry but this was just BAD

yeh (October 3, 2008)

ok midd draga child i think youare a b*&th call youre self a fan and are backstabbing them saing theirdead khow what go listen to youre gay as hell fallout boy

yeh (October 3, 2008)

it is the best band ever no one can compare who saw i heard avoice dvd cause i did and its frekinawsome!!

AFIrulez1 (July 24, 2008)

Ok, those of you who are dissin them FUCK OFF!!! AFI is the best band ever and if you can't take that go back to singing your barney songs.

Ps-MeWubYew (June 23, 2008)

I've been a fan of AFI since this album came out. Miss Murder caught my attention. :P Anywho, I really only liked Miss Murder, back when I first noticed them, because it was the only song I knew by them (>_>). Eventually (Christmas 2006, I think), I got the album Decemberunderground. Fell in love with it, instantly. After having a bit too much of A Fire Inside, I started looking up their other albums. I was ten, only a kid (heh. I still am), and it took me a while to really get into finding something. Sue me. :P At first, only Sing The Sorrow's "Girls Not Gray," and "Silver And Cold." And yet again, I got tired of listening, so I just stopped listening completely. A year of hardly any AFI in my life, I went out to listen to other songs by them, after listening to them on my Brother In-law's iPod. After only listening to all of their songs one, they were and still are a favorite.

Ps-MeWubYew (June 23, 2008)

Wonderful review.

DragaChild (January 20, 2008)

Sometimes I wonder, what is happening to all the good bands out there? AFI sold out, that's it. The music here is not bad, but its not punk. They went against their own ideaology for the sake of money. Dont ignore it, you know its true. I love AFI, but not this album. AFI is dead, they might as well change their name.

DestroyAllVirtues (November 28, 2007)

complete crap.
it just shows what people will do for a certain amount of money.

hatefulromance (June 5, 2007)

This is the second greatest AFI CD...(First is "Sing The Sorrow"...a true statement made by AFI expressed through AFI...

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

Easily their worst album and really shows that they sold out. They don;t care about their true fans who were there from the get go and their new fans just plain suck they listen to anything that is on the radio. If you think this is punk then you are fucked in the head

afifuckingrocks (May 12, 2007)

every one who dis likes this cd are FUCKING HOMOS!!!!!! YOU CAN SUCK M COCK!!!!!! AFI ROCK!!!!!!! FUCKING HOMOS

hxcjfi (February 8, 2007)

New, but good. STFU haters. AFI is the most amazing band ever. They never fail at anything. FUCK YOU VERY MUCH HAVE A NICE DAY!

venicebeachxc (January 4, 2007)

Hey, Azzy. Shut the fuck up.

azzy (October 26, 2006)

OK people, here's a quote from scenepointblank's review for this album. You can find it online at
http://www.scenepointblank.com/reviews/814
"Change and evolution are much-maligned concepts within the pop-culture world but stagnancy was never going to be the problem with Decemberunderground. It is an album that grows and builds. It is an album that gets better with each listen. It is an album that demands to be listened to and understood as a complete work."

Note the first lines people, and try to comprehend it. Keep your opinions to yourselves if you're just going to trash-talk each other. That's what personal boards and forums are for, not record reviews.

I personally am ashamed of you all--I was looking through this page to see whether anybody had a *valuable* opinion on the album or its review. Do you know what I found? People who expressed their own opinions perfectly well ('I think this album is better/worse than "Black Sails" and "Sing The Sorrow" etc.). People compared AFI to other bands (neutrally!) meaning that they said, 'Oh this song sounds like this band's guitar riff' or whatever.

But then you all went and spoiled it. You are saying, 'This song sucks, this album is f*cking stupid, I hate it soooooo much!'
Come on people. Clean up your acts, and review the *album* or the *review* not each other's opinions.

Now, not to be a hypocrite, I would like to add that I like this album. As a child listening to my older brother's music, I listened to a lot of music that I loved. I didn't know the artists' or the songs' names but I absolutely loved them and knew the words by heart. I recently 'rediscovered' AFI from my childhood, and I would like to say that, although I haven't heard many of their pre-Sing the Sorrow songs, I really like Decemberunderground. Granted, some songs like Kill Caustic could be better-placed within the album, or even on an EP, but the rest sound great, even if some people don't think they sound good *together.*

Thanks for just letting me say that, and thanks for reading it. I hope that the people who post in the future will try not to trash talk each other's opinions. (sorry about the long post)

nVidia725 (September 16, 2006)

Bravo AFI, great CD. If you don't have DC yet and are still undecided, just listen to it with an open mind. I'ts highly expiramental, the band rarely stuck to formula on this release.Their sound is far more advanced musicaly than most pop-emo bands resulting from 15 years of experience, and their lyrics now have poetic underlying themes (mostly about death) that are truely releveant. That is what sets them apart. Unfortunately, they don't show us the same hard, edgy, raw sarcasm and cynicism they had back in the day, and they've gone mainstream with their single "miss Murder" in high rotation, but they're still blazing new paths. One cannot expect them to remain in the past forever, the world is not the same as it was in 2000, society has changed, and AFI has responded to this with a bonfire within! Obviously there are 3 types of fans, the first generation, the undecided, and the younger, more easily influenced teens. They have been making music for the last 15 years. Puting that into perspective, that is a long time for any person, and they've done much good work in that time. Maybe their best work is behind them, so what? You coulsn't ask anymore from them, 90% bands will never make it this far, 8 CDs, that is saying something

JohnnyTwoTits (August 30, 2006)

befor i thought davy havic looked like a girl.... now i know for a fact... he is a woman... and hes so pritty..... i think miss murder was ok. i watched the making the vidio(i have too mutch time) and davy havic was being a baby the whole time...

slymer (August 8, 2006)

This CD sounds alright. I just can't get into it knowing what dorks these guys have become. I'm not sure where the whole goth/flock of seagulls look came from, but it's getting out of hand. Now I hear they're trying to rally thier fans to vote for them for the MTV music awards. Why would you even care?

capitalist_pig (July 31, 2006)

The more I listen to this the more I hate it.

JakeRazor (July 11, 2006)

AFI are cool-looking sometimes, and their music is pretty catchy.

But their lyrics are too mono-toned depressing. It's lame.

Shitlips (June 29, 2006)

"anyone that says afi is not punk anymore is fucking stupid. what the fuck makes you so great that you can just state weather something is punk or not. they were punk as hell back in the day but they evolved and experemented. changed their sound. and that is punk as hell."

So you are saying the Davey Havok himself, is fucking stupid. You should maybe learn more about the band before making these kind of statements. 3 years ago Davey did an interview with AP and stated that they are not "punk rock". Sorry to burst your bubble but thats just how the cookie crumbles.

AFI_RULES (June 23, 2006)

Afi ' s cd decembers underground is so awesome!!! i love the song miss murder.

Anonymous (June 22, 2006)

Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, June 10, 2006 at 1:14 AM (EDT)

"i dont understand how anyone can still be a fan of AFI. Its like if pantera suddenly started playing country, would people say pantera "evolved" or would they say they fucking sold out like bitches"

The members of Pantera played with David Allan Coe. And if you don't know who David Allan Coe is, don't post stupid comments. I haven't been much of an AFI fan (I've liked what I had heard, just hadn't bought any of their albums until Decemberunderground), but I like the album a lot. I can't compare it to older material, but based solely on the level of complexity in the production, there's something more here than just trying to steal the lunch money out of the pockets of depressed, acne-laden teenage boys.

Anonymous (June 16, 2006)

Sing the Sorrow was brilliant, but this one just makes me think of Reggie and the Full Effect making a pastiche combining the Cure and pop punk. Reggie and the Full Effect are somewhat enjoyable due to the fact that it is half joke, half tribute. AFI seems all serious which in turn makes it kinda sad...

Still, I'm trying to listen to it as much as possible to see if it will change my mind. The intro song, Kill Caustic, and Endlessly are the only songs that really grab me, and they are the ones that kinda stick out like sore thumbs versus the rest of the album.

Anonymous (June 14, 2006)

AFI lost their way, now all they are is a modern version of a glam rock band. Ya they evolved musically, which could of been a good thing except they are using this glam image (which has slowly taken over their music) as a catalyst in their change. Black Sails was their best CD. It was all down hill after that.

Anonymous (June 13, 2006)

"if this record was released under a different band name - everyone would be super impressed by it and be listening to it all day - like i am."

Are you retarded? That's the only reason WHY WE'RE ALL LISTENING TO IT? If it didn't say AFI, we'd probably disregard it as complete and TOTAL pop shit.

Anonymous (June 11, 2006)

I really do like afi.
Nothing wrong with this CD.
In fact I think it was a complete experiance.
Davey's screaming was lovely, and the transition was always fantastic.
I really think that afi deserves some credit.

Anonymous (June 11, 2006)

decemberunderground....is very different than what i expected and hoped. i really miss the days of all hallows and the art of drowning. i was suprised to hear davey havok adopt the hardcore-scream (kill caustic) and throw out most of his wailing. BUT, this album isn't bad by a long shot. It is a completely different afi than from when i first started listening to them years ago, but i'm gonna give these guys a chance. And i think this album is pretty damn good. Different, but hey, who says change is always that bad.

Anonymous (June 10, 2006)

Score is for their MTV Movie Awards peformance. Who the fuck did they think they were fooling?

Mixhail (June 10, 2006)

This is a pretty good cd. Granted, i hated sing the sorrow, but this album takes on alot of the poppier elements of said cd and gives them some actual substance instrumentally. This band hasnt been hardcore for 10 years, so i really dont know what the big deal about the whole goth-punk change is all about.
Best songs are probably "Summer Shudder", "Love Like Winter" and "Missing Frame." And despite the cheese factor radiating from the Intro, i somehow still like it.
This album is what "Disintegration" by The Cure would sound like if it rocked harder and had gang-vocals.

13013 (June 10, 2006)

"sounds like the breakfast club soundtrack."

... don't youuuu... la laaaa... forget about meeee.... don't don't don't donnnnn't!

Anonymous (June 10, 2006)

i dont understand how anyone can still be a fan of AFI. Its like if pantera suddenly started playing country, would people say pantera "evolved" or would they say they fucking sold out like bitches? Plus Davey Havoc is like 30 something now, how long is he going to pretend to be a depressed teenager?

Anonymous (June 10, 2006)

sounds like the breakfast club soundtrack. Total crap.

Anonymous (June 9, 2006)

i am sick and tired of people not hearing music for what it is. if this record was released under a different band name - everyone would be super impressed by it and be listening to it all day - like i am. i mean, i would be so bummed if every AFI record sounded exactly the same. oh, wait - they dont! because they arent the same and arent meant to be the same. that would be boring. i am so happy that a band that has been around for like 15 years can grow and still write interesting songs. i love this record and you should too.

miff (June 9, 2006)

well thats bollocks vvv

afireinside666 (June 9, 2006)

i do agree that avenged sevenfolds new shit sucked ass. but were they punk in the first place.

Anonymous (June 9, 2006)

"anyone that says afi is not punk anymore is fucking stupid. what the fuck makes you so great that you can just state weather something is punk or not. they were punk as hell back in the day but they evolved and experemented. changed their sound. and that is punk as hell."

so avenged sevenfold is punk as hell too? sweet

Anonymous (June 9, 2006)

Sting has done the exact same thing there guy below and I haven't heard anyone rushing out to call him the king of Mods recently.

afireinside666 (June 9, 2006)

anyone that says afi is not punk anymore is fucking stupid. what the fuck makes you so great that you can just state weather something is punk or not. they were punk as hell back in the day but they evolved and experemented. changed their sound. and that is punk as hell.

afireinside666 (June 9, 2006)

yea. this album has changed a lot. but so have all of their other ones. they are like any other band and they change. you know that if they stayed the same over all these years all of you would bitch about that to. its hard to please every one and if you dont like what they have become then dont fucking listen to it.

Anonymous (June 9, 2006)

"First off, how the fuck are you going to compare this to Danzig in any way? Second off, i thought this was punknews.org, this album is not punk in any way shape or form, its not hardcore, its not even emo. IDK what to call it but it doesnt belong on this site. The reason no one here likes this is because its NOT punk and not even generaly related to punk. I wouldnt even call most of it rock. It might be a great "concept" album or w/e, but last time i checked "concept" albums werent on punknews.org. I think this is a horrible cd, but i only say that from the point of view of a person who loves music that rocks. This most certainly does not rock."

how can you write an afi review and not mention danzig? it's obvious davey is completely influenced by him. either you wrote this comment as a joke or you are really an idiot. your comments about punknews.org and not being punk don't deserve attention.
but i would really like to know why a concept album can't be covered here? and how you think one has never been covered here.

-greyicewater

Anonymous (June 8, 2006)

So, I just watched AFI play "Miss Murder" on the MTV Movie Awards. It was like AFI was "hitchin' a ride" on the train to horrendous Haircutville until the breakdown when Davey Havok busted out some of the most hilarious modern dance "moves" and then showed off his Marilyn Manson voice. Oh dear. It was really bad. My taint is intact.

Anonymous (June 8, 2006)

Its good but I donot like #2 but other then that SWEET! #8 was the tightest song on it so far.

coldwaffles (June 8, 2006)

Not incredibly bad. Just not good. You know?

Anonymous (June 8, 2006)

this album is fucking fantastic
i can't stop listening to it

cantsitstill (June 8, 2006)

Get it out of your head that it's AFI and it's not such a bitter pill to swallow.

Well I think that's the problem a lot of people have with this album... that's it REALLY IS AFI after all.

fallingupwards84 (June 8, 2006)

well, today this album finally clicked with me.

it took me a couple weeks, but it finally happened. i was listening to it in my car early this morning when it was still slightly dark outside, and enjoyed it immensely.

what a terrible, terrible band. how anybody even listens to them i'll never understand

MonkeyFracas (June 8, 2006)

As a huge fan of AFI for the past 7 years or so, this is probably it with me and them. The album is devoid of any soul, I feel, and the most cohesive thing throughout it all is the level of cheese that the "goth-industrial" instrumentation has put on. I don't know if I'm the only one, but Davey's vocals (besides the awful metalcore screeching) on this record are way to over the top for my tastes, and the lyrical content doesn't help me get past the image of Davey as a depressed teen who's totally misunderstood by the jocks in his school. Even the artwork on the album is subpar. I remember back when All Hallow's/AoD came out, totally loving that handcrafted feel of the album art, but it's been replaced with ... bunnies and myspace style photoshopping effects of washing out color. An as per the whole "denial of a right to grow," even the Beatles managed to bring things back to their roots with the WHite Album/Let it Be, and still managed to make killer tunes that blew their earliest period stuff out of the water.

clamum (June 8, 2006)

I got this yesterday and have listened to it two or three times. So far I'm really digging it.

I think they pulled off the 80s/synth well while still sounding like AFI. Recommended if you actually like the band and their music.

rkl (June 8, 2006)

-mini-review-
im a big fan of "metal shit," but black sails was where afi lost me. i was never really into them enough to be pissed off, but i just found the album to be boring...
more of the same from this, this girl insisted i listen to it yesterday, and hell, i was on a bus from iowa city to denver so i thought, why not. im not sure what path afi is headed in nowdays, but ill shuffle my pumas in the opposite direction.

Anonymous (June 8, 2006)

hey afi- get a life!

haha

djcheezy (June 8, 2006)

I was wrong...after about 6 spins on AOL, I really dig this CD. Get it out of your head that it's AFI and it's not such a bitter pill to swallow.

Anonymous (June 8, 2006)

hey afi- get a life!

Anonymous (June 8, 2006)

this album is terrible. it's pure pop with cheesy teen-power lyrics, and everything that once made this band unique (including his voice) has been left behind. I'd rather listen to the new TBS album instead of this - at least they can do pop right.

Miss Murder isn't so bad though.

kill_fftl (June 8, 2006)

is it just me or does the 4th or 5th song or w/e sound a like a simple plan song

sickboi (June 8, 2006)

"but last time i checked "concept" albums werent on punknews.org"

Ahem...

http://punknews.org/review/1274

ht tp://punknews.org/review/417

And I'm sure there are plenty more...dumbass.

Anonymous (June 8, 2006)

I like this, better than i thought and anything with nick 13 and ronan harris is worth my while-oldpunker-

Anonymous (June 8, 2006)

there cover of 'head like a hole' (one of the intl. bonus tracks) is just....why?

nowilhelmtrigger1208 (June 8, 2006)

Express your violent opinions about DECEMBERUNDERGROUND on UCLARadio.com!!!! 10pm-midnight PST, AFI Listening Party.

Come piss us off.

Not-To-Regret (June 8, 2006)

Fucking Hurricanes!

jumptheshark (June 7, 2006)

I'm pretty much very bored by this album. Just doesn't doing anything for me. Gone is the AFI I once loved...

13013 (June 7, 2006)

this album was very very boring to me. I really miss the days of "Black Sails..." and "The Art of Drowning"...

Anonymous (June 7, 2006)

the guy below me delivers the most useless comment regarding this review yet.

Anonymous (June 7, 2006)

Ok every one stop! stop arguing there are pages and pages of useless material here, she said this he said that, what the fuck is your problem! obviously some people love it and some people hate it, so thats it, its over! get over it!

asitstands (June 7, 2006)

Everyone here with opinions: Take this to the radio. Listen to UCLARadio.com tonight from 10pm to midnight PST - we're doing a "Decemberunderground" listening party with commentary and we want lots of people to call in with opinions and thoughts. For more information: http://www.myspace.com/uclaradioextravaganza

http://www.uclara dio.com

Anonymous (June 7, 2006)

"Why is every review on this site pretentious?"

tell me exactly what is pretentious about it? maybe that it assumes that fans of this band has followed the band from the beginning? i dont even know if it actually does, but its hardly an issue.

what is so pretentious?

Anonymous (June 7, 2006)

"FallOutBoy (I DARE YOU to tell me Summer Shudder doesn't sound like them)"

sounds like ever and a day, or that song at the end of sts, this time imperfect or whatever, the one after the poem

Anonymous (June 7, 2006)

to enjoy decemberunderground

listen as follows

coldpop
1 prelude 12/21
2 love like winter
3 the interview
4 the missing frame
5 37mm

aggressive
1 strength through wounding
2 kill caustic
3 miss murder
4 the killing lights (not sure where this belongs actually)
5 affliction (has to go last due to ending)

aod type slow
1 miseria cantare
2 summer shudder
3 kiss and control
4 endlessly she said

JayTee (June 7, 2006)

Dude, all you "THEY FUCKING CHANGED GET OVER IT" people. I'm well aware Sing The Sorrow wasn't much punk or hardcore, but you what it was? AFI. This new album? Not AFI. It doesn't even have thier signature guitar sound, and thats pathetic. This album skips anywhere from Depeche Mode(37 mm) to The Killers (Love Like Winter) to FallOutBoy (I DARE YOU to tell me Summer Shudder doesn't sound like them). I have no problem with AFI evolving, I've been applauding them for it for 9 years now, but this is stagnant contemporary pop.

Anonymous (June 7, 2006)

Why is every review on this site pretentious?

Anonymous (June 7, 2006)

I think if you take "Kill Caustic" and " Miss Murder" out this album flows pretty good.

Anonymous (June 7, 2006)

I love all of the "this album sucks play more stuff like Black Sails or Shut Your Mouth" comments
. This band is FUCKING DONE WITH THAT.
I prefer those albums over anything they have ever done but you people need to accept this record for what it is and not for what you wanted it to be.its been a long time since that stuff came out why would you think their music would sound anything like it? I think I like this beter than Sing the Sorrow but that wasnt really hardcore or punk either.

Anonymous (June 7, 2006)

after reading the Early November news, AFI should have released this as a tripple EP.

i think that would be cool. write maybe 3 preludes, all slightly different, then have 12 or so full songs. the more agressive, the slower, and the more electronic/"cold pop"

i am a genius. i should manage this band

JayTee (June 7, 2006)

Maybe the "despair" this time around is supposed to be ironic? Like, I'm actually upset about how BAD this album is? Think that's what they were going for?

Anonymous (June 7, 2006)

"Whoever said Vheissu sucked is an idiot"

you are an idiot for thinking someone is an "idiot" because they very much dislike a band

Anonymous (June 7, 2006)

Whoever said Vheissu sucked is an idiot

Anonymous (June 7, 2006)

as single songs, i don't think any of them are that bad. some are kinda boring and far too long, but the really catchy songs are well written for the most part. as an album though, it isn't cohesive. an album can have different sounds and styles and still sound like a unit. this doesn't. i will probably listen to "summer shudder" "the killing lights" and "37mm" a lot, but not the whole album.

exactly how i feel, it took them 3 years to release something that should have been better executed as a series of EPs rather than one full length.

which sucks because, for the most part, AFI has always been good at releasing albums that flow perfectly and work as a complete unit

Anonymous (June 7, 2006)

Great review really, taking all the other records into acount was a nice touch. These songs are catchy as hell and thats all that matters to me in todays punkrock, period. A band like Thrice who tried to totally reinvent themselves and in my opinion has lost way more fans than AFI ever will with that piece of shit record they called Vhessui or whatever should take some notes from the all and mighty AFI, this is how its done.

letmego (June 7, 2006)

''It's a sad transitional period for fans of the Black Sails/AOD era'

If your still in that -era- you need to fucking get out or something, we're in 2006. Some people make the same record again & again (Pennywise just for example) and some -progress- If you don't like the progression it's ok but it's not by any mean a sad transitional period for fans.

Anonymous (June 7, 2006)

as single songs, i don't think any of them are that bad. some are kinda boring and far too long, but the really catchy songs are well written for the most part. as an album though, it isn't cohesive. an album can have different sounds and styles and still sound like a unit. this doesn't. i will probably listen to "summer shudder" "the killing lights" and "37mm" a lot, but not the whole album.

druhol (June 7, 2006)

'Kill Caustic' is a pretty rad track. The rest of the album... not so much.

Anonymous (June 7, 2006)

Scene Point Blank's 4-man review orgy:
http://www.scenepointblank.com/reviews/814

baseball (June 7, 2006)

only time i've seen AFI was in 2001 i think and they were excellent

this album disappoints me a lot so far...but i haven't listened to it that much

aaronfromsweden (June 7, 2006)

I like this. Not as good as Sing the Sorrow, but still very decent. I am one of those who kind of disliked the old AFI, but enjoy their new sound. Go on and flame me, but that's the way I feel.

Anonymous (June 7, 2006)

I hear and see the total opposite of the supposed "evolution" that AFI and some of their fans claim accompanies this new album. The vocal and instrumental melodies lack substance and originality; the song forms are the same as those used in most AFI tracks: ABABCB; the lyrics are dull and cliche. Though AFI insists what they have created is a sheer display of their "art", I find it obvious that what they have done is simply a sorry attempt at pleasing the crowd.

They seek to channel quite obvious influences through tints of pop and electronica, and market musical efforts of the past, while falling terribly short of innovation. They are in the major-leagues now - they are here to make money. It's a sad transitional period for fans of the Black Sails/AOD era, as we accept AFI's departure from what we felt was an impeccable combination of sonic elements.

fallingupwards84 (June 7, 2006)

very well-written review, but i still cannot get into this album

john_boy (June 6, 2006)

hell of a review, hell of a cd!

iconoclast (June 6, 2006)

"reviver's music", "now the world", and "synesthesia" are by far the best songs afi has written since the art of drowning. the style of those 3 songs would have been such a fucking incredibly amazing direction for the band. fuck.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

i think sts is slightly better because it feels more complete and whole as an album. if this album was released 1 year after sts i wouldnt mind, but 3 years? it sounds more like a compilation of different AFI records rather than a flowing complete AFI album

i still dig it

iconoclast (June 6, 2006)

aubin, i have got to say, you are one hell of a review writer. great job. one of the best reviews i have read in a while, and im not even too into the album (yet).

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

Gah! What the fuck? 8? Atreyu and now this? FOR SHAME.

This site is going downhill.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

Does anyone here know what the evolution of music is about? You guys must not because when a band puts out a new cd i want it to change and evolve into something else! Thats a natural thing amongst music! If i wanted to hear the same sounding cd re-released then what would be the point for a new album! This album is album of the year!

rinjonjori (June 6, 2006)

I think "Miss Murder" and "Teh Missing Frame" should have been the benchmark for this disc. "Kill Kaustic" and "afflication" are good old AFI (with a little new AFI sprinkled in). Still there is nothing getting past "Prelude 12/21" and not thinking "BYe, BYE, BYE" by N'sync

Http://rnanothersunnydayinpop.blogspot.com

iconoclast (June 6, 2006)

its not because this album is different that makes it suck, its that it totally lacks the energy and passion afi is so good at creating. yes, it is catchy, pretty damn catchy, but it sounds fucking hollow to me. it makes me sad.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

does anyone else think that the white squares that showcase some of the songs in the booklet are very obtrusive. maybe thats not the right word, but the aesthetic of the plain white square extending into the next pages artwork is kind of an eyesore.

anyone have any opinions on this?

and to the guy one or two posts below me?

" true AFI fans" are the ones that dont like afi's new stuff?

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

This album was tailormade to hold on to the angsty, hot-topic mascara-wearing scene girls and boys that got hooked on Sing the Sorrow. There's no track on this cd that would appeal to true AFI fans from when they actually played punk rock.

tylerdurden8136 (June 6, 2006)

better than sing the sorrow, but i still don't like it all that much.

iconoclast (June 6, 2006)

i too might have enjoyed this album if his screams werent so fucking bad. his singing is always good. the this new scream makes me cringe.

danpanic18 (June 6, 2006)

AFI is a ground breaking band! The new album is simply amazing! Thus far my choice for album of the year!

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

Regardless of how you feel about Glenn. Danzig kills this turd in every way......even his worst stuff.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

Talk about a band taking a trip down the WRONG road. "Black Sails" was a halfway decent album.........everything since then has stank more than Homer Simpsons under-pants.

skaboom (June 6, 2006)

"First off, how the fuck are you going to compare this to Danzig in any way? Second off, i thought this was punknews.org, this album is not punk in any way shape or form, its not hardcore, its not even emo. IDK what to call it but it doesnt belong on this site. The reason no one here likes this is because its NOT punk and not even generaly related to punk. I wouldnt even call most of it rock. It might be a great "concept" album or w/e, but last time i checked "concept" albums werent on punknews.org. I think this is a horrible cd, but i only say that from the point of view of a person who loves music that rocks. This most certainly does not rock."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
I'm not going to address the "I thought this was PUNKnews" thing, it's been done so many times before. Instead I'll point out that you said both IDK and w/e, and this invalidated your opinion on writing style reasons alone. However, if you insist on being disproven for real reasons, yes this site has covered many a "concept" album lately. The most obvious example is the enormous amount of press given to Green Day.

R3venge_Therapy (June 6, 2006)

Okay. So I didn't read past the first 10 comments left below me and I already know that this site is probably being flooded with all sorts of bullshit haters and lovers of this band right now, and that is to be expected.

But overall, I think all the whining and shit-talking on this album will never cease. It's different, just like every AFI album is, get over it. If you want to cry that this isn't what you wanted, go cry somewhere you won't get made fun of and have to be all defensive about.

Pretty damn good album, but far from the best this band has done. They continue to raise bar for themselves. I think they've put out enough great material to be able to do what as they wish. So if this isn't your cup of tea because you like the old stuff, don't bitch and whine, just pop in some Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes (my personal favorite) or Black Sails and shut the hell up.

my review on scenepointblank.com should be up tonight, so check it out.

also, this album was released on Interscope, not Geffen.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

"your only into the band for the image not the passion. Peace XXX"

kinda like AFI themselves, eh?

yeah, EXACTLY like afi... moron. not that i'm defending a person who doesn't know the difference between your and you're... but you were stretching with that one from the start.

i like it more than i liked sing the sorrow initially. the 80s vibe is good, but davey's screams ain't what they used to be. i would have given anything to see afi live in the black sails days.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

First off, how the fuck are you going to compare this to Danzig in any way? Second off, i thought this was punknews.org, this album is not punk in any way shape or form, its not hardcore, its not even emo. IDK what to call it but it doesnt belong on this site. The reason no one here likes this is because its NOT punk and not even generaly related to punk. I wouldnt even call most of it rock. It might be a great "concept" album or w/e, but last time i checked "concept" albums werent on punknews.org. I think this is a horrible cd, but i only say that from the point of view of a person who loves music that rocks. This most certainly does not rock.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

First off, how the fuck are you going to compare this to Danzig in any way? Second off, i thought this was punknews.org, this album is not punk in any way shape or form, its not hardcore, its not even emo. IDK what to call it but it doesnt belong on this site. The reason no one here likes this is because its NOT punk and not even generaly related to punk. I wouldnt even call most of it rock. It might be a great "concept" album or w/e, but last time i checked "concept" albums werent on punknews.org. I think this is a horrible cd, but i only say that from the point of view of a person who loves music that rocks. This most certainly does not rock.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

Aubin with the safest review I've ever read.

I don't think this is a horrible record for someone to like.

I don't think its a groundbreaking or even that interesting, but I can see someone else getting some enjoyment from it.

Really my only actual are you kidding me complaints is the bunny rabbit bullshit, and intro song. I'll say it again, It makes me start the album thinking its a 'dark' christmas album, and thats just wierd.

I think miss murder is a much better single than girls not grey, and its a better video (davey makeup tammy faye baker overkill notwithstanding).

I'll say one more thing again. The goth whiteface is quickly becoming the new blackface. Davey Havok looks like a minstrel half the time. I wish them well on this records success, but I hope they do something interesting next time. Not much for me to relisten to on this.

wyzo

skaboom (June 6, 2006)

Jesus, imaposeryouraposer, a bit touchy? People have a right to talk about the evolution of a band. Your logic is flawed, to say the least. You can be a fan of a band and not like every one of their records. You can not like a band, but think that one album out of their catalogue is worthwhile.

Just because your favorite band changed their style and some people don't like it does not make them "posers". It means they aren't suckered into dropping money on something they won't enjoy, like you are doing.

djcheezy (June 6, 2006)

When I first heard this, my immediate reaction was "holy shit, it's 'Pay Attention' by MMB". MMB was (and still is) my favorite band, but man did I hate that album.

I certainly don't love this, but the more I listen to it, then more I'm only disappointed that it was AFI that put it out. Not a bad album, but certainly not what I expected from those guys. I almost wish it was put out under the Blaq Audio side project.

imaposeuryouraposeur (June 6, 2006)

imaposeryouraposer is the latest joke account?

Yes, I am a big fucking joke! Haven't noticed?

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

imaposeryouraposer is the latest joke account?

DrDeath (June 6, 2006)

"if you like this you'll like this" paint it black-CVA? Come on!! You're fucking kidding me! With all the cure and depeche comode references in this review??? Paint it black!?!?? Afi sucks, keep your drugs outta my baseball and your make up outta my rock'nroll... unless you happen to be KISS... then the make up can stay. fuck you afi, you used to be good.

FortyMinutesWest (June 6, 2006)

"What is with those fucking bunnies on the cover?"

It's a concept album about Watership Down.

imaposeuryouraposeur (June 6, 2006)

Show me a band with consistency. And yeah you buy their 1st album and start there. Please stop asking stupid questions.

SlackMFr (June 6, 2006)

What is with those fucking bunnies on the cover? A tad too wimpy and girly, what the fuck went wrong with this band?

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

Oh and as ignorant as I may sound, SCREW opinions cause your either a fan from day one until now through thick and thin or get the F*CK OUT!

you have to be a fan even when bands start making shitty records? and what if you didnt hear about a band at day one? can you still become a fan later?

as ignorant as you might sound? no, as ignorant as you are

Deadpan (June 6, 2006)

Haha, oh man, I think I may give you the Retard of the Day award instead of the other guy. This shit is hilarious.

imaposeuryouraposeur (June 6, 2006)

Oh and as ignorant as I may sound, SCREW opinions cause your either a fan from day one until now through thick and thin or get the F*CK OUT!

rubyx (June 6, 2006)

I got this CD today. I'm listening to it now. I downloaded a few tracks from it before it came out. The first AFI album I ever heard was Sing The Sorrow. It affected me so much that even though I have two other AFI albums (AOD, BSITS), I only listen to that one!

imaposeuryouraposeur (June 6, 2006)

You people are sad, bored, lonely and pathetic to rant on about whether a band is not the same anymore or hate the direction they are going in. Do something about it then, go and write the "perfect" song so that I at least can agree with your stupid rants, until then SHUT UP, half you people here probably don't even know music theory, let alone play good music or in a "good band" themselves. PROVE IT, then RANT. These bands are here to entertain us and give us something to listen to. All you stupid kids who say "oh I'm a original hardcore fan, you don't know shit/oh this band saved my life" please you kids are such attention seekers SHUT UP, you are boring, people trying to talk about credibility or whether a fan is poser or not and etc, etc. it's getting old...really is. Also anyone or anybody that buys any bands 1st album and later decides that the band "SOLD OUT" or whatever, you yourselves are the biggest posers and by no means a true "FAN". I mean Pearl Jam sucks right now, but I still go out of my way to buy their albums(yes I'm a fan of their music) Go learn an instrument or something and stop wasting people's times. Really this generation of kids(2006 and beyond) are a sad sad bunch....internet has really killed everything.

FortyMinutesWest (June 6, 2006)

"Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes « Very Proud of Ya"

No way, Shut Your Mouth is probably their best record.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

affliction coud be on AOD, summer shudder sounds like the slower AOD, kill caustic like you said

basically aod with higher production values. the writing seems the same

on a side note, i got the davey havok cover, anyone want to trade, i might take a sharpie to it ahahha

nocigar (June 6, 2006)

hahah WHAT?!? this album blows.

Deadpan (June 6, 2006)

I don't remember any point where AOD contained over produced, stadium goth/electronica rock. Honestly, the only song that sounds anything like an AOD track is Kill Caustic, and even that sounds like it could be a b-side from those sessions, if it weren't for Davey's suddenly shit screaming.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

this album IS a return to pre sts for the most part.

so it presents a funny problem, the pre existing fans that like the "progress" do not like this album

and the fans that want black sails/art of drowning, well, of course its not enough of a return, so they arent happy either

so this time, afi lose 80% of the pre-existing fans, but they gain some green day ones

i like this album alot, but really, i dont get the complaints, so many of these songs would fit on art of drowning, easily, without missing a step

Deadpan (June 6, 2006)

This album has nothing to do with Sony, so go ahead and do whatever you want.

Fedor (June 6, 2006)

This first album of sony that i have since all of the scandal of copyright and spyware, will this mess up my computer if imported with itunes?

- Fedor

album of the year

Deadpan (June 6, 2006)

"This album is class and shows what AFI can really do its just a shame that all the so-called scene kids cant see past their more hardcore past!!!. Music is an open book and for true AFI fans this will be the years most important album buy it and listen to it for the music. And i would say their is loads of parts that are similar to AOD the way jade plays guitar and the way the band interacts its all their just more textures. THIS ALBUM IS FUCKING AWESOME.... any AFI fan that disagrees your only into the band for the image not the passion. Peace XXX"

You win Retard of the Day. Well done. Your prize is is this commemorative lead bowl and chin strap, so that you may catch the drool which is no doubt trickling down your grossly slack jaw. Congratulations on winning this fabulous prize.

letmego (June 6, 2006)

Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes « Very Proud of Ya

Black Sails in the Sunset « Art of Drowning

Decemberunderground « Sing the Sorrow

Pretty good review Aubin! I love the 80s influence on this record

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

ive had this a while and its ok better than sts but nowhere near black sails or aod. but for a major label punk record a triumph.

great review though

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

3/10. Did nothing for me.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

3/10. Did nothing for me.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

how come hunter or carson dont put a stop to daveys rotting

friends dont let friends become zombie drag queens.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

"your only into the band for the image not the passion. Peace XXX"

kinda like AFI themselves, eh?

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

Miss Murder just keeps on being the same ol' jibber jabber, repeating the lines over and over again. I don't mind a lot of this, but I don't know why people would listen to it OVER other stuff.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

This album is alright. The direction they took isn't really my cup of tea, but it's not horrible. I've heard much worse.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

i honestly think if they opened the album with any of the preludes from sts, drowning, or black sails, instead of the one they did use, more people would like this album.

the prelude is the only real departure from drowning/sts on this album

mcgregor107 (June 6, 2006)

i think i've only heard about three songs from this band, none memorable.

HeresLookinAtYou (June 6, 2006)

i loved the review

im listening to the album now and have mixed feelings. the metalcore screams are very evident and a bit too "let's appeal to that market" for me. otherwise it's an alright album i suppose.

the thing is, after listening to Trophy Scars debut album, this totally pales in comparison.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

I might have enjoyed this more if his screams weren't so god awful.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

This album is class and shows what AFI can really do its just a shame that all the so-called scene kids cant see past their more hardcore past!!!. Music is an open book and for true AFI fans this will be the years most important album buy it and listen to it for the music. And i would say their is loads of parts that are similar to AOD the way jade plays guitar and the way the band interacts its all their just more textures. THIS ALBUM IS FUCKING AWESOME.... any AFI fan that disagrees your only into the band for the image not the passion. Peace XXX

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

I've really enjoyed the songs I've heard so far. I'll have to give it more time later though. I think "The Interview" could be awsome to hear live.

neo_reloaded (June 6, 2006)

Can someone post the link to that super high-res pic of the Decemberunderground album cover? I know it was in like three comment sections from previous AFI news, but I've been hunting for a half an hour and can't for the life of me find it.

Deadpan (June 6, 2006)

Plus, I find it hard to compare any part of this album to AOD, which would be my favourite album by them. There's precious few hardcore elememts in this record, far less than in AOD.

Deadpan (June 6, 2006)

Pfft, I'm disgruntled, but not for the reasons you expect.

I fully embraced the idea of going all electronica/EBM/whatever when the guys first started talking about this album. I wanted progression, I wanted change. I didn't want a re-hash of an older album, and I thought this would be a really cool way of going about it - I thought AFI was a band that would be able to absorb the music they loved and create something that was more than the sum of its parts.

But uh... they didn't. This is probably the most derivative album they've released since Jade joined. Not a good thing. Put it this way - I'd have been more pissed off if they'd done STS, BSITS, AOD or whatever part 2. But that doesn't mean I'm going to like this one.

Anchors (June 6, 2006)

Great review Aubin.

Never been to into any of the eras of this band, but I'll check this out.

sickboi (June 6, 2006)

Deadpan-

The fact that you posted your rant on the AFI board already tells me you are a disgruntled fan. I'm just really shocked how so many people loved STS, but hate this....this sounds a lot closer to AOD than STS did.

aubin (June 6, 2006)

Is that "from odd science fiction plots" phrase a jab at Ludo? Because that album is about 80 times better than this one!

It's not a jab at anyone, but I was thinking of Coheed and Cambria. I don't think there is anything wrong with the concept album, as an idea. The execution and songwriting is what matters in the end.

American Idiot was good because of the songs; the concept was just icing but wouldn't have carried a bad album.

clamum (June 6, 2006)

Nicely written review. My copy of the album should be here today or tomorrow, can't wait.

Deadpan (June 6, 2006)

Plus, I'd hardly call this evolution. In many ways, this album is full of regression. Instead of carving out a definitive style, they rely on stealing sounds of bands from 20-odd years ago. Some bits sound like the cure. Some bits sound like any generic synth/goth band. The screams are bland growls.

The lyrics, on the surface anyway, also seem sub-par. I know AFI have come up with some ridiculous shit over the years, but I've always thought that was cool, because it helped contribute to the atmosphere of the songs. Amidst the unwarranted pomp and lavishness of Decemberunderground, they just sound fucking ridiculous, pretty much self-parody.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

From the s/t EP through the Art of Drowning, this is one of my all-time favorite bands. Sing the Sorrow had its moments, but neither that record this record makes my heart ache like Black Sails and the Art of Drowning did. I could recite every lyric to every song on those albums.

Deadpan (June 6, 2006)

This is basically what I think of Decemberunderground (copied and pasted from the AFI board cos I'm lazy):

I've only listened to this a few times since last week, and first impressions have a habit of changing with me, but woooo.... this is not a good album. Yeah, it's overproduced, that was to be expected after STS. But shit... did they have to make an album so obviously aimed at a stadium? Several times during this album, I had the urge to put on Bon Jovi's Living On A Prayer, because at least that was enjoyably trashy. But this... well, they killed the atmosphere for starters.

The amount of autotuning used made me shudder as well. There were times when a perfectly decent vocal line was ruined by obvious use of Pro Tools. Maybe not to the same extreme as in STS (I'm glad there's no equivalent of The Great Disappointment on this one), but far more frequently.

The addition of the electronic parts really didn't do it for either. It just reminded me of a classier version of The Rasmus, which, wilst not being as bad as The Rasmus, doesn't exactly fill me with joy or anything. It could have been so cool, but comes across as really cheesy and half-assed (think Bon Jovi again. There are some really dodgy synth parts in here).

Prelude? The sound of the band vanishing up it's own arse. As in, laughably bad (think Lil' Jon going mall-goth). Kill Caustic? The disheartening sound of a band trying to recapture its glory days (or to recapture its former fans). There's a lot of nice guitar work in this album, but it's buried for the most part under boring production, that mashes all the instruments together until they become a fuzzy wall, indistinguishable from each other almost.

To be honest, my favourite track on this was Head Like A Hole, and that's not even part of the album proper. And it's been available for months (it originally got me pretty excited for the prospect of a new album, because it's a bitchin' cover).

On the whole, a massive chunk of this album comes across as cynical and pretty soulless, although there are moments that grab me. I mean, it's not awful, but shit... it's so painfully mediocre.

LeightonESmith (June 6, 2006)

Glittering praise for such a mediocre cd. I've been trashing the fuck out of this cd just because they didn't follow up the evolution the way they should have. I for one really liked sing the sorrow (and all the prior) material and I could see some really good potential with this cd. Instead they dial back everything that made them cool in the first place. Its slow. Its boring. Its dull. Its over produced. Its retero. Its shit.

I felt robbed when Thrice did this last year. I feel the same again. I don't want the same cd over and over. I just want something that rocks and makes me want to jump around screaming.
NOT MUSIC I'D LISTEN TO BEFORE GOING TO SLEEP.

Everyone go listen to the new Casey Jones for some of that action.

capitalist_pig (June 6, 2006)

I listened to some of the stream and hated it. But then again I hated the Art of Drowning and Sing the Sorrow when I first heard them, but after a few weeks I came to love the former and appreciate the latter. Maybe I'll pick this up for those couple places where my brain says, "Hey, that's AFI, these guys are good."

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

This is the best pop album i've heard all year.

Razor_Crusade (June 6, 2006)

Is that "from odd science fiction plots" phrase a jab at Ludo? Because that album is about 80 times better than this one!

aubin (June 6, 2006)

Glenn Danzig influence in GNG, i dont think so. Its all over the All Hallows EP but nowhere on STS.

Listen to Recipe for Hate and then try Danzig and you'll hear what I mean. Davey's voice is obviously much higher than Glenn's, but the affectations and the melodies are pure Danzig.

dev (June 6, 2006)

A very well written review, Aubin. And not just because I agree with all your points. But mostly because of that...

Very true that's it's not the AFI we remember, but damn, whenever I go to put on some music lately, it's usually this album.

Zackass (June 6, 2006)

AFI has alwasy been trash.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

I cannot for a single second stand the way I feel about this album.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

i've never liked this band.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

to the dude a few posts down

Jade is not gay. In fact, his girlfriend is the type that makes you want to run home and beat off. yes, that hot.

Paul

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

I think this was a very good review, and very fair.

it would have been easy for someone to just trash the shit out of this

and then a year later, they'd retract their words and write this review

let the album sink in before judging it. sometimes, a bands curveball is their best work

just check out 'life won't wait'...at first I wasnt much of a fan of it, as I was a huge fan of rancid's punk rock. that album showed so much growth and mixed up so many styles...rockabilly, dub, reggae, ska, straightforward rock, punk. it took me a wile, but now i love it

great review

this album is growing on me

I got into them in 2000 via 'black sails'. I thought their work prior to black sails was mediocre at best.

Paul

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

you guys are crazy, girls not grey has a big danzig feel, listen to the beginning again, if the song never sped up, it would be a danzig song

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

cantsitstill,

i saw them on their sts touring, and they played maybe 2 black sails, and a shut your mouth song. but thats hardly anything, and now after a whole new album, i dont really know....so i guess i was no help

cantsitstill (June 6, 2006)

do these guys play anything off of the first three albums when they tour? just wondering. saw them after "shut your mouth" came out and they tore the fucking club down. one of the best shows i've ever seen. don't really dig the new goth AFI that much, though.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

.litterally GAY band.

well, actually, carson and hunter arent...

i know from very close person to the band that davey isnt, so unless davey is trying to "keep in the closet"(which he doesnt seem like that kind of guy), he isnt

and that leaves Jade....is he gay? i dont know, but i also dont know how a possible 1/4 (if that) of the band being gay makes them a gay band....

or do you just mean they are a gay band because they dont care one way or another what people's sexual preferences are?

or should i have not even bothered

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

I'm one of the few people that loved "Very Proud..." better than "Shut Your Mouth..."

For one example, it has a better album cover than the latter.

As for this one, it's alright. I stopped listening to AFI after "Black Sails..." but so far the single is a little less annoying than the band's first single on their last album "Girls Not Grey".

Ramo

12xu (June 6, 2006)

Really good review. NIN, New Order and the Cure, for sure.

This record has really grown on me. There are lots of great melodies and cool sounds, which is what I look for in an AFI record. I don't hear anything I'd call hardcore on this, but then I haven't thought of AFI as hardcore since Jade joined and they recorded the turning-point Black Sails. Also, that classic AFI call-and-response is MIA. Davey is doing almost all of the singing now.

Anyway, not as good as Art of Drowning, but respectable.

sickboi (June 6, 2006)

AFI is like Marilyn Manson-light these days. And that isn't a bad thing.

Davey looks mega-creepy in the video. Shit is seriously disturbing.

As for this album, it is a great rock/pop album. They are not a punk/hardcore band anymore. Deal with it.

But I completely respect what they've done, and how they've done it. Did they change their sound to sell records? Fuck no, they continued to evolve and currently have the right sound at the right time. I'd much rather have "Miss Murder" clogging up the airwaves than the latest audio turd from Staind or Disturbed.

I'm also happy to hear I'm not the only one that thinks Very Proud of Ya is their best work. With their massive popularity as of late, I'd love to see that album get remastered/reissued. It always sounded kinda flat to me.

kill_fftl (June 6, 2006)

this cd fucking sucks "miss murder" sounds nothing like AFI

evil_dead (June 6, 2006)

*pick

Oh, and it's out on Interscope.

JXS

evil_dead (June 6, 2006)

"Cult Classic" isn't it, it's "Cult Status"

Good album, very nice review.

Can't wait till 6th period to go pich this shit up, yo.

In my opinion this is their third best album.

Very Proud of Ya is their best. You just can't top it.

JXS

Kidswhowearmakeuprgay (June 6, 2006)

Great review. Boring ass gay band....litterally GAY band.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

GAY.F.I.

TahoeJeff (June 6, 2006)

This album is groing on me. Its no Shut Your Mouth...but its still pretty good.

I can't wait to hear kill caustic.

ozmanx (June 6, 2006)

Damn, now that is a review!

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

I listened to the album stream once and walked away with the impression that it was either really awesome and a grower or really shitty and I was in denile about the possibility it being anything but awesome.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

Glenn Danzig influence in GNG, i dont think so. Its all over the All Hallows EP but nowhere on STS.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

Hes right, people complained about how metal Black Sails sounded compared to the previous recordings.Half of the fans they have feel alienated about the direction the band is going in, and the other half gets muliplied by 5x by new fans.

Canucker (June 6, 2006)

"The addictive single ??Girl's Not Grey? sounds like Glenn Danzig fronting Bad Religion"

Uh, no.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

Ok. so ive been a huge fan of this band for a while now. I love all kinds of punk, everything from green day blink 182 and sum 41, to nofx bad religion rancid and pennywise, to the casualties, a global threat, cheap sex, the virus, and the havoc, to aus rotten, conflict, crass, and icons of filth. punk rock is my life, and my passion. but i try to keep an open mind, because there is so much good music out there. i listen to more punk rock than anything else, but i do like other genres of music. i like some metal, some alternative, some hard rock, ive been getting into post-hardcore(or if you will, screamo) lately, i like some 80s and 90s rap, i love ska and reggae, and i even like a couple of DECENT emo bands. so im very open minded when it comes to music. and listening to this album, its really not bad. i like the genres they are trying to cover. and they arent doing a bad job. most people on here are just close minded to one genre of music, and cant accept change in a band. but look on the bright side, they arent a punk band who decided to go metal(agnostic front, suicidal tendencies, exploited, ect.) they are just trying to grow in a new direction after putting out 6 great punk albums in the past decade. i like decemberunderground. and i think people should just try and be a lil more open minded towards it, and recognize AFI for the great music in their past, but still try and enjoy their new stuff. and if you really dont like it, just because you think its bad, then thats cool too. but dont judge it cuz its not "punk". sometimes u just gotta grow.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

"Black Sails was the last record this band put out as far as I'm concerned.

Actually....All the Hollows and the picture disk that came out before STS are very very good, so I guess those would be this bands last works. Sad to see them broken up and never tarnishing their reputation.

Yup"

oh, no, youre mistaken, they actually have a new album coming out tomorrow. its actually what this is a review of. cool huh?

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

im going to give this album a chance. even though punk rock is my passion and AFI's old stuff is like gold to me, im always willing to keep an open mind. sing the sorrow wasnt as bad as everyone says it was, i actually enjoyed it for a while. but i still find myself listening to awnser that, black sails, and art of drowning more than anything.
and how can anyone think black sails was metal? theres nothing metal about it. it may have some metal influenced moments, but its definently a punk album. go listen to lamb of god, then listen to AFI's black sails, and tell me if that's metal.

GreenVandal (June 6, 2006)

Black Sails was the last record this band put out as far as I'm concerned.

Actually....All the Hollows and the picture disk that came out before STS are very very good, so I guess those would be this bands last works. Sad to see them broken up and never tarnishing their reputation.

Yup.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

when i buy this, i heard each booklet is different or something? like on the back? or diff inserts?

well i hope i dont get davey, i just cant stand looking at him anymore...its just gross

carson or hunter please

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

Although Very Proud of Ya and Answers.. had some quality tracks, for the most part they were boring, paint by the number albums.

They really didn't turn into something interesting until Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes and continued to evolve.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

Summer Shudder is a cool song but nothing else stuck with me.

Kudos to them for continuing to evolve and try different things instead of releasing the same stuff over and over again(i.e. Pennywise).

But i'm just not into this...

aubin (June 6, 2006)

I think everybody kind of gets fixated on whichever their first album by a band is; like mine was Very Proud of Ya and compared to that, Shut Your Mouth was a shock, I think it kind of got shelved for a few weeks after I bought it because I was initially so bummed, but then it suddenly clicked.

This band is really good at making those kinds of records: shocking and weird at first, and then suddenly, they just work.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

well, i got answer that when it came out basically, and i miss the humor on that album

then when i got very proud of ya , to me at least, it just didnt deliver anything that answer that couldnt satisfy for me. i mean, i still like it, but def my least fave

BizzleBrizzle (June 6, 2006)

Very Proud of Ya > Answer That and Stay Fashionable

Answer That has way too many joke/non-serious songs.

Very Proud of Ya was the first AFI album I bought, probably my second favorite, and defintely the most underrated.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

well very proud of ya represented a different AFI

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

my least fave afi album is very proud of ya.

just too many songs or something, it was almost an unnecessary album

colin (June 6, 2006)

"the interview" grew on me... i dunno. it's not a great cd. nothing more than forgettable.

MikeStupid (June 6, 2006)

That last comment was me.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

I have to admit, this album has grown on me quite a bit. It's still my least favorite AFI album, but it definitely has some good songs on it.

Maybe I've just been in too much of a good mood to appreciate it fully. AFI always sounds better when I'm depressed.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

"I wont give some long winded opinion on why i dont like this album. Its all been said before. Sure, a band needs to grow and evolve and thats just what AFI did. Unfortunately, they outgrew me and have moved in a direction that i dont intend to follow them in anymore. I dont like the new record because it has no musical styles that i like, particularly the emo-style screams and wierd loops. I dont like NIN very much or the Cure for that matter, but thats me. At least the fans of their early stuff will still have that.

and for the record, just because of your opinion on this album, doesnt make you better or worse than those that differ. i really doubt this will happen, but maybe we can keep this review free of hateful and bashing comments about whether or not only posuers like this.

seriously, if it affects your life that much, you need a job."

relatively long winded ya wind bag

kingofsuck (June 6, 2006)

anyone know if this will have like a really cheap price at like best buy or those places? maybe i should ask tomorrow

There was a sign outside of Hot Topic a few days ago saying that it'd be on sale for $9.99 for the first week it's out or something like that. I'm not sure about any other places, but I'd assume it'd be about the same there, too.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

Its poo don't believe the lies, don't believe them!

kingofsuck (June 6, 2006)

Truth be told, I??ve never listened to any old AFI so all I can even possibly compare it to is Sing The Sorrow because someone gave me a burnt copy of it.

I highly recommend you try listening to any of their first three albums.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

I think I may be one of the last few music fans on the face of the Earth that will not download/listen to an album before it is released. With that said, I've always loved that AFI constantly evolve. I can't wait to pick this up tomorrow.

i dont download, mainly cause i dont feel like looking for the shit on torrents, and i dont want to instal any file sharing programs, but i do listen to streams...

american_666_jesus (June 6, 2006)

I wont give some long winded opinion on why i dont like this album. Its all been said before. Sure, a band needs to grow and evolve and thats just what AFI did. Unfortunately, they outgrew me and have moved in a direction that i dont intend to follow them in anymore. I dont like the new record because it has no musical styles that i like, particularly the emo-style screams and wierd loops. I dont like NIN very much or the Cure for that matter, but thats me. At least the fans of their early stuff will still have that.

and for the record, just because of your opinion on this album, doesnt make you better or worse than those that differ. i really doubt this will happen, but maybe we can keep this review free of hateful and bashing comments about whether or not only posuers like this.

seriously, if it affects your life that much, you need a job.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

anyone know if this will have like a really cheap price at like best buy or those places? maybe i should ask tomorrow

hubitcherkokov (June 6, 2006)

I think I may be one of the last few music fans on the face of the Earth that will not download/listen to an album before it is released. With that said, I've always loved that AFI constantly evolve. I can't wait to pick this up tomorrow.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

the AP thing and covers isnt that big of a deal...i mean, isnt the founder and driving force of the mag, and they do covers like that all the time

TheNightProwler (June 6, 2006)

Anyways, getting to the album itself...

This album is just very mediocre and boring. Spare for a song or two, this album is just very non-interesting to the ears. I can??t understand why one would rate something like this so high. Nothing about the music really stands out, not even in a pop or new wave type sense. It just has a very lifeless and vanilla feel to the music.

I??m not even comparing this era of AFI to anything older or some shit like that. Truth be told, I??ve never listened to any old AFI so all I can even possibly compare it to is Sing The Sorrow because someone gave me a burnt copy of it.

So all I can say is this... what do you people seriously see in this album???

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

man afi must only have like only 1/32 of their original fand base, or maybe even 1/64th

jk

i really like this album.

i have said it quite a few times in threads, this album isnt too far from black sails and on....

mattp330 (June 6, 2006)

i went in not knowing what to expect, and even though it is different, it is marvelous

kingofsuck (June 6, 2006)

These comments were made back in the beginning of May?
http://punknews.org/review/5258
************************** *
I can't understand this band's appeal whatsoever. Their records are so boring.

-Scott

My comments...
So does that mean AP is going to dedicate an entire issue to them and have four difference limited edition magazine covers once their album comes out?

lol, I'm just kidding... or am I?
*****************************************************
Altern ative Press is releasing a special edition, four different AFI covers!!
I just wanted to take another moment to show everyone that I can predict the future?.

Haha. Jokes are always funnier when they come true.

TheNightProwler (June 6, 2006)

These comments were made back in the beginning of May?
http://punknews.org/review/5258
************************** *
I can't understand this band's appeal whatsoever. Their records are so boring.

-Scott


My comments...
So does that mean AP is going to dedicate an entire issue to them and have four difference limited edition magazine covers once their album comes out?

lol, I'm just kidding... or am I?

*****************************************************
Altern ative Press is releasing a special edition, four different AFI covers!!
I just wanted to take another moment to show everyone that I can predict the future?.

theOneTrueBill (June 6, 2006)

I just don't like it. Plain and simple.

kingofsuck (June 6, 2006)

Let the arguments begin...

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