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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
It seems like it would be really hard to scream your guts out on songs about angst- and drug-filled life-changing moments and still sound perky. But AFI manages to do just that on DECEMBERUNDERGROUND. AFI stands for \"A Fire Inside,\" and lead singer David Havok's vocals ignite the group with a raw, burning energy. This guy sounds like he believes every word he sings, whether screeching over searing guitars and powerful bass and drums, or toning it down (just a bit) on \"The Interview.\" Jade Puget (guitar), Adam Carson (drums), and Hunter (bass) provide an impeccable music bed for the powerful vocals.
Is it any good?
Notably diverse, the songs on this CD are all performed with a heavy-handed backbeat and full-tilt enthusiasm; the arrangements stay interesting through a dozen well-performed tracks. Some parents might be uncomfortable about certain lyrics; references are made to drugs and violence, and the word "suicide" shows up over and over again, setting a mood of nihilistic intensity. But there's also poetic imagery in lines like "City lights, like rain, dance and explode/Fall upon debutantes" ("Kiss and Control"). Though some of the lyrics explore the darker side of life, love, and pain, the perfectionism in AFI's production and the care taken on every track give away the fact that these guys actually really care.