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AFI - Decemberunderground cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 6, 2006
StudioConway Recording Studios, Los Angeles, California;
Sage & Sound Recording, Los Angeles, California
ProducerJerry Finn
AFI chronology
Sing the Sorrow
Crash Love
Singles from Decemberunderground
  1. "Miss Murder"
    Released: April 3, 2006
  2. "Love Like Winter"
    Released: September 26, 2006
  3. "The Missing Frame"
    Released: February 27, 2007

Decemberunderground (stylized in all caps; read as December Underground) is the seventh studio album by American rock band AFI. The album was released on June 6, 2006, through Interscope Records. The album was supported by three singles, "Miss Murder", "Love Like Winter" and "The Missing Frame".


Over 120 songs were written for the album, the majority of them never finished or released.[4]

Recording took place at Conway Recording Studios and Sage & Sound Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California. Sessions were produced by Jerry Finn with Joe McGrath handling recording. They were assisted by engineers Seth Waldmann, Jason Gossman, Kevin Mills, Eric Weaver, Dimitar Krnjaic and Keith Armstrong. In addition to Puget's programming and keyboards, Ronan Harris of VNV Nation and Dave McCracken contributed additional programming and keyboards. Finn and Chris Lord-Alge mixed the recordings at Conway Studios and Resonate Music. Ted Jensen mastered the recordings at Sterling Sound in New York City.[5]


Usually described as an alternative rock, emo and post-hardcore album, Decemberunderground contains a variety of genre elements in the various songs, including EDM, new wave, gothic rock, hardcore punk,[6] synthwave[7] and synthpop.[8][9] Ed Thompson of IGN compared the album to bands such as U2, the Cure, the Smiths, Depeche Mode and Alphaville.[9] Alternative Press compared the album to 1980s synthwave music.[7]

Regarding the album's title, lead singer Davey Havok said, "Decemberunderground is a time and a place. It is where the cold can huddle together in darkness and isolation."[10] The album's title is sung in a lyric in the song "The Interview".


The album's lead single "Miss Murder" was given a thirty-second preview on LIVE 105 on April 11, 2006, and due to an overwhelming response, Interscope Records gave the station permission to play the entire track. "Miss Murder" was released to radio on April 25.[11] The full track listing of the album was announced on the same day.[12][better source needed] Decemberunderground was released on May 29 in the United Kingdom, June 6 in the United States, and June 16 in Mexico. Customers who pre-ordered the album at special pre-listening events received a CD of the "Miss Murder" single, which also contained a cover of INXS's song "Don't Change". The first pressing of the CD in the United States contained a limited edition insert with one of four band member portraits.[13] "Love Like Winter" was released to radio on September 26.[11] The album was re-released on November 7, 2006, on 6 "icy clear" 7" vinyl. The individual record sleeves featured band member portraits, as well as a portrait of the band's manager Smith Puget.[14]

In March 2007, the band went on a brief west coast tour of the U.S.[15] AFI held their last concert in promotion of the album at Download Fest in October 2007. Havok and Puget then began to promote their side-project Blaqk Audio before beginning work on the eighth AFI album, Crash Love (2009).


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[6]
Blender5/5 stars[16]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[17]
NME6/10 stars[8]
Robert ChristgauC+[19]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars [20]
Slant Magazine4/5 stars[22]
Alternative Press4.5/5 stars[7]
Punknews.org4/5 stars[23]

Commercial performance

It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 182,000 copies in its first week of being released.[24] The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on August 30, 2006 and has sold at least 993,000 copies in the United States as of September 2009.[25][26] The album was eligible for platinum certification in 2007 and received it from RIAA in 2013.[10]

Critical response

Decemberunderground received generally positive reviews. The review aggregator Metacritic awarded the album a 72 out of 100, based on 15 reviews.[27]

Entertainment Weekly awarded the album a grade of B+, and called it a further development of the band's earlier shift to "an eerie, metal-edged Cure sound", with Decemberunderground representing "the most melodically acute distillation of that style yet,"[17] unlike their previous studio album Sing the Sorrow, which they awarded a D. AllMusic awarded the album 4 out of 5 stars, saying the band's "ever-evolving goth-punk" sound is present on Decemberunderground in a "tighter and lighter" form, showing that the "core of AFI's sound never strays too far from what listeners have grown to love about them in the first place."[6]

Rolling Stone awarded the album 3 out of 5 stars, one less star than their review of Sing the Sorrow, and claimed that "something isn't right in the world of AFI," because of their pop-rock musical structure "that would be at home on the soundtrack to the next Spider-Man movie".[20]

Track listing

All tracks are written by AFI, except where noted.

0.Untitled (pre-gap hidden track; CD exclusive)0:20
1."Prelude 12/21"1:34
2."Kill Caustic"2:39
3."Miss Murder"3:26
4."Summer Shudder"3:06
5."The Interview"4:16
6."Love Like Winter"2:45
8."The Missing Frame"4:40
9."Kiss and Control"4:18
10."The Killing Lights"4:04
12."Endlessly, She Said"4:26
Total length:45:06
7" vinyl box set bonus track
13."Fallen Like the Sky"3:22
International bonus track
13."Rabbits are Roadkill on Rt. 37"3:51
UK bonus tracks
13."Rabbits are Roadkill on Rt. 37" 3:51
14."Head Like a Hole"Trent Reznor4:44
Japanese bonus tracks
13."Rabbits are Roadkill on Rt. 37" 3:51
14."Head Like a Hole"Trent Reznor4:44
15."Don't Change"INXS3:16
Japanese bonus DVD
1."Miss Murder" (video)5:12
2."Love Like Winter" (video)2:56
3."Silver & Cold" (video)4:11
4."The Leaving Song Pt.II" (video)3:36
5."Love Like Winter" (Live at Long Beach Arena, '06/9/15)3:26
Total length:35:37
iTunes bonus tracks
13."On the Arrow" 3:06
14."Jack the Ripper" (Pre-order only)Morrissey, Boorer2:48
15."Interactive Booklet"  
Target bonus track
15."Fallen Like the Sky" (bonus downloadable track)3:22


Credits for Decemberunderground adapted from the album liner notes.[5]

Bonus tracks and outtakes

All tracks recorded during the Decemberunderground sessions unless otherwise noted.

  • "Rabbits are Roadkill on Rt. 37" was recorded during the Sing the Sorrow sessions, and was eventually released on the MySpace Records: Volume 1 compilation[28] and as a bonus track on international editions of Decemberunderground.[29]
  • "Head Like a Hole" is a Nine Inch Nails cover and was included on the soundtrack of the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004).[29] It was re-released on the UK, Australian, German, and Japanese editions of Decemberunderground.[30]
  • "Don't Change" is an INXS cover and was released on the "Miss Murder" 7" vinyl disc and the Japanese edition of Decemberunderground.[31]
  • "Jack the Ripper" is a Morrissey cover and was available as a bonus track on the iTunes pre-ordered edition and the UK and Australian editions of the "Love Like Winter" single.[32][33]
  • "On the Arrow" was available as a bonus track on the iTunes pre-ordered edition and the Australian edition of the "Love Like Winter" single.[34]
  • "Fallen Like the Sky" was available as a Target bonus track download and available on the 7" vinyl disc box set edition of Decemberunderground.[35]
  • Four tracks from the sessions, in addition to "100 Words" from the Sing the Sorrow sessions, were planned to be released on an extended play,[36] originally planned for December 2007,[37] but which never materialized.
    • "Carcinogen Crush", written by Burgan, was first recorded during the Sing the Sorrow sessions, but this version was not released. It was re-recorded during the Decemberunderground sessions and released as a downloadable track on the video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (2007).[37] It was also made available as a digital single on iTunes on December 4, 2007,[38] charting on two Canadian singles charts.[39][40] It was later re-released on the Japanese edition of Crash Love and that album's "Medicate" single in the UK.[41]
    • "Ether" was included in NASCAR 09's in-game soundtrack as well as on the Japanese edition of Crash Love.[42][41]
    • "Fainting Spells" was released on the deluxe edition of Crash Love.[43]
    • "The View from Here"[36] leaked online in 2016.


Chart Peak
Australian Albums Chart 3
Canadian Albums Chart 2
European Albums Chart 2
French Albums Chart 181
German Albums Chart 58
New Zealand Albums Chart 20
Irish Albums Chart 66
UK Albums Chart 16
UK Rock Albums Chart 2
US Billboard 200[44] 1
US Billboard Comprehensive Albums[44] 1
US Billboard Digital Albums Chart[44] 2
US Billboard Rock Albums Chart[44] 16
US Billboard Tastemakers Albums Chart[44] 1
US Billboard Top Internet Albums[44] 1


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[45] Gold 35,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[46] Platinum 100,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[47] Platinum 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

See also


  1. ^ McFarland, Kevin (April 15, 2014). "With Decemberunderground, AFI rode tacit approval all the way to the top". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  2. ^ Jamie Jones (September 18, 2015). "Can You Name The Classic Emo Album By The Cover Art?". Buzzfeed.
  3. ^ Yancey, Bryne (October 22, 2013). "AFI - Burials".
  4. ^ Backspin: AFI on 'AFI (The Blood Album)'. Yahoo!. February 17, 2017. Event occurs at 3. Retrieved December 18, 2020 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ a b Decemberunderground (Booklet). AFI. Interscope Records. 2006. 9858643.CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ a b c Apar, Corey (2006). "allmusic ((( Decemberunderground > Review ))):". Retrieved June 17, 2006.
  7. ^ a b c "AFI - Decemberunderground - Reviews - Alternative Press". Alternative Press. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Dan Silver. "AFI: Decemberunderground - Album Reviews -".
  9. ^ a b c Thompson, Ed (June 5, 2006). "AFI - Decemberunderground". IGN. Archived from the original on February 25, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  10. ^ a b "AFI Official Biography". AFI Official Website. Archived from the original on February 24, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2006.
  11. ^ a b "FMQB Airplay Archive: Modern Rock". Friday Morning Quarterback Album Report, Incorporated. Archived from the original on March 22, 2013. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  12. ^ "AFI Reveals Track Listing". Music News. Retrieved May 27, 2006.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ AFI | Official Site Archived 2006-10-05 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ [7] Archived November 14, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "AFI announce West Coast tour". Alternative Press. January 25, 2007. Archived from the original on August 22, 2016. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
  16. ^ "Decemberunderground review".[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ a b Tom Sinclair (June 5, 2006). "DECEMBERUNDERGOUND - Music -". Entertainment Weekly.
  18. ^ Ariana Rock. "AFI - December Underground".
  19. ^ Robert Christgau. "Robert Christgau: Album: AFI: December Underground".
  20. ^ a b Strauss, Neil (2006). "Rolling Stone : Decemberunderground : Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 17, 2006.
  21. ^ "Decemberunderground review". Archived from the original on February 1, 2010.
  22. ^ Scott Shetler. "AFI: Decemberunderground rewvie". Archived from the original on August 27, 2009.
  23. ^ Paul, Aubin (June 6, 2006). "AFI - Decemberunderground".
  24. ^ "AFI Burns Brightly With No. 1 Debut". Billboard. June 14, 2006.
  25. ^ "Gold and Platinum Database Search". Archived from the original on February 2, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2009.
  26. ^ Wood, Mikael. "AFI Revs Up The Rock On 'Crash Course'". Billboard September 14, 2009.
  27. ^ "Decemberunderground by AFI". Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  28. ^ Paul, Aubin (2005). "AFI cancels Big Day Out appearance". Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  29. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas, "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - Original Game Soundtrack | Songs, Reviews, Credits", AllMusic, retrieved December 14, 2020
  30. ^ "AFI's 'Head Like a Hole' - Discover the Original Song". WhoSampled. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  31. ^ "AFI's 'Don't Change' - Discover the Original Song". WhoSampled. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  32. ^ "Jack the Ripper - AFI | Releases", AllMusic, retrieved December 14, 2020
  33. ^ "Love Like Winter - AFI | Songs, Reviews, Credits", AllMusic, retrieved December 14, 2020
  34. ^ "On the Arrow - AFI | Song Info", AllMusic, retrieved December 14, 2020
  35. ^ "AFI - Decemberunderground". Discogs. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  36. ^ a b Paul, Aubin (2007). "AFI detail upcoming EP". Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  37. ^ a b "AFI plans new EP, rarity for 'Guitar Hero III'". 2007. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  38. ^ "Carcinogen Crush - Single by AFI", Apple Music, retrieved December 14, 2020
  39. ^ "AFI". Billboard. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  40. ^ "AFI". Billboard. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  41. ^ a b "AFI - Crash Love". Discogs. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  42. ^ "NASCAR 09 Soundtrack Revealed", IGN, retrieved December 14, 2020
  43. ^ "AFI - Crash Love". Discogs. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  44. ^ a b c d e f "AFI Burns Brightly With No. 1 Debut". 2006.
  45. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2006 Albums". Archived from the original on May 15, 2011. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  46. ^ "Canadian album   certifications – AFI – Decemberunderground". Music Canada. June 18, 2019. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  47. ^ "American album   certifications – AFI – Decemberunderground". Recording Industry Association of America. April 25, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links

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