[22 September 2006]
PopMatters Contributing Editor
AFI meets Aiden… a comparison that will have sullen 13-year-old girls excited, and the rest of us nauseous at the sight of these comb-over sporting emo kids. Although On the Last Day has not (yet) reached the comical level of self-parody of Aiden, they’re still a long, long way from the kind of commercial-friendly melodrama that AFI have cashed in on. The very definition of cookie-cutter post-hardcore, the riffs alternate from limp pop punk to half-assed one-note metalcore breakdowns, the vocals lack both charisma and hooks, the production is lifeless, and the album is a complete and utter failure when it comes to establishing the kind of melancholy mood that emo/screamo thrives upon. “Initial Deployment” and “A Welcome Haunting” has the band finally waking the hell up a half hour into the CD, but by then, it’s a lost cause on an album with little to no redeeming qualities whatsoever.