The vampiric punkers return. Should they have bothered?
Yet if a week is a long time in politics, three years is forever in music, and with MCR making dysfunctional death cults fashionable again, AFI have timed their return exquisitely. The crunching call to arms of opener ‘Kill Caustic’ and sublime, swing-tinged single ‘Miss Murder’ make for an impressive re-introduction. That the rest of ‘Decemberunderground’ is, for the main, a maudlin mope-fest comprised chiefly of schlock rock clichés (‘The Killing Lights’) and slightly risible stabs at synth-pop (‘The Interview’), just about redeemed by choruses you could hang a trench coat on, is almost beside the point. With a comeback pitched between the indulgent love-metal of HiM and the pubescent pop-punk of Fall Out Boy, AFI’s hiatus looks increasingly less like laziness and more like a marketing masterstroke. Don’t bet on their fire being extinguished just yet.
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