Influenced by Frank Zappa...Primus...Captain Beefheart...Tom Waits...Sly Stone...System Of A Down...Mister Bungle...Louis Armstrong...Minus The Bear...Talking Heads...Chili Peppers
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Progessive/Avant Garde Funk/Jazz author: Rice B. and the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team What to mak...Progessive/Avant Garde Funk/Jazz
author: Rice B. and the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team
What to make of the outrageous, quirky, mad, goofy, fantastic, funky, and unpredictable sounds of Afterthem? On their latest CD (the 8th since their ‘03 debut), the aptly titled “Time Is Fun When You're Having Flies,” the 5-piece band serves up their brand of deranged psycho-savant-funk-jazz with all the subtlety of the proverbial flying mallet. The CD opener, “Misses Johnson” starts things appropriately enough with a discordant workout over a rhythm whose time signature would give Dave Brubeck a fit of rage. But like an aperitif before a grand feast, the fun is only just beginning. When not channeling the spirit – if not the voice – of mad genius Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet), the bulk of the 18 track album defies categorization or description. Part avant garde, part inspired lunacy, 2/3’s part Tom Waits carnival barker’s delirium and half sheer inscrutability, it’s a veritable hall of sonic mirrors, casting strange and surreal sounds at the listener to confound, confuse, and - if patient enough, utterly floor. And while the singer warns, “just don’t get too close” on the whacked-out funk jam, “Coolo Daddyo,” my advice is – as to a boxer taking a pounding in the ring – get this album in a clinch and don’t let go.
Artist PR Review
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Fascinating, quirky, and wildly innovative are just a few thoughts which spring to mind while openin...Fascinating, quirky, and wildly innovative are just a few thoughts which spring to mind while opening the Pandora’s Box that is Afterthem. While blending a delectable variety of styles, the five piece electro-funk powerhouse masterminded by Dave George designs a versatile, unique sound which captivates and entrances those who dare to experience it. Wriggling around like a viper in the grass, describing their elusive style is pleasantly difficult, as Afterthem consistently change quicker than a comic book shape shifter.
By utilizing a unique collaboration method for writing their funky, bouncy tunes, Afterthem maximizes their effectiveness while having each member contribute to the song creation process. With Windy Jones slapping the bass, Joe Positive holding down guitars, David George masterfully playing the keyboards, Richard Johnson laying down infectious drum beats, and Tomar DeFresco providing the unmistakable vocals, the ultra inventive group finally begins to take shape. While George pens most of the lyrics, Afterthem has joined forces with a number of guest singers including Joy Epting, Jen Case, Karla Barlow, April DeForde, and Juliet Lyons to keep their listeners constantly guessing.
There’s a wonderful cornucopia of legendary musical influences which aid in Afterthem’s dynamic style, ranging from Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart to Primus and Mr. Bungle. Toss in some jazz flairs from Louis Armstrong, Doctor John, and everything in between, and you can begin to imagine what allows this group to remain so innovative. As the slapped bass guitar keeps things grooving, the keys supply the heavy electronic melodies which carry most of the songs. Each member provides their own musical talents which combine to generate a truly magnificent wall of sound.
Since debuting in 2003, Afterthem have created eight outrageously mesmerizing albums, ranging from a bopping funk vibe to full blown electronic mayhem. By keeping so many available choices in their catalogue, it’s nearly impossible for listeners not to discover something which matches their musical profile. With record titles such as Time is Fun When You’re Having Flies, Heavy on the Cheese, and Spank Not What You Can Sand Accordingly, their clear sense of humor and eccentric tendencies force an undeniable smile upon everyone’s face. Be sure to check out their MySpace and Internet Archive pages for streaming audio, and head over to CD Baby to purchase any of their crazily fun albums. This truly is one of the more progressive groups you’ll experience this year.
Next Big Thing Review
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Time Is Fun When You’re Having Flies – AfterThem AfterThem – AfterThem (Both Independent Releases) ...Time Is Fun When You’re Having Flies – AfterThem
AfterThem – AfterThem (Both Independent Releases)
Your soul is conflicted, you want danger, you want to be provoked made tense, alert by the music coming to you, want to feel demands are being made, that on the other side of this listening experience you come out changed wiser maybe, crazier surely.
You also want to be warm, cuddly cuddled, want to be asked to pogo/dance/swing by that cute strange girl with the blue hair and piercing eyes, want to hum the hooks, grin that huge lazy grin you practiced, and most of all, charmed.
It seems like AfterThem is the band for you.
Within one tune you maybe gently rocked by a tropical breeze while being set on edge by sharp knife drill worthy of latter day Coltrane when he was bornAgainRadical. Within another the scratchy ghost of a Dr John look-a-like rumbles fiery against a slowed down Talking Heads (Eno period) minimal groove.
The funk here is all angles and spiky shiny jewelries dropped into messy bubbling stew, modern black magic indeed.
For the self titled album (which disc came first? And does it matter?) Female vocals are slid far down in the mix a delight for those who ever wondered what Jefferson Airplane might sound like fronting an extremely busy lo-fi Pavement. This selection rocks slightly harder than ‘’time’’ and brings the dirt to the fore, but the sharper focus of the other set clicks it slightly harder as the more rewarding listen.
Both sets though pleasure the brave listener
You can hear tracks from both albums on the NBT podcasts
6th May on our flagship cast
5th may on the NBT Dark Electric
~ by nbtmusic on April 22, 2010.
Posted in Musicians, Provocative, afterthem, alternative, cult, experimental, funk, grunge, independent, indie, indie music, launch, music, nbt, opinion, podcast, podshow, rock, underground
Tags: album, alternative, experimental, funk, independent, indie, indie music, jazz,