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"CITYLIFE - Afghan Raiders Will Destroy Your Ass"

This is pretty simple: Afghan Raiders will destroy your ass. It doesn’t matter that the duo played its first show only a month ago. Or that the Raiders — otherwise known as Mikey and Beans — currently only have one four-song EP, Solid Gold, floating around. The local boys know how to make you move.

The evidence: “Future Thinkers.” The track is basically a dare to all the disco punks. Yeah, there are the melody lines that sound like buzzing power cables. And the clacking beats that, at the right volume, feel like Jet Li putting a fist through your chest. But the Raiders also blend in the kind of classic pop structures that make even your mom want to shake her thing — with the proper liability release forms, of course. Mikey and Beans slice a bit of spastic energy into each song, making it unsafe for those who aren’t up to the challenge. - Las Vegas Citylife

"CITYLIFE - Future Thinkers"

Afghan Raiders know they can't maintain their hype-fueled joyride without looking at the road ahead
Since The Killers first hit the top 40 charts four years ago, Las Vegas's music scene has been looking for the next big thing to come out of its gritty karaoke lounges, downtown dive bars and back-alley venues -- usually with little success.

Time and time again, over-eager scenesters have elevated acts that disband or lose founding members (in some cases, only to regain them later) shortly after being crowned the next best hope. Bands like Valentine, who had its picture and bio blurb featured in the October 2006 issue of Rolling Stone at its peak, and Flaspar, garnering significant press ink when Keil Corcoran was still in the band, can attest to this phenomenon. This, to say nothing of the talented artists relegated to the footnotes and languishing in the shadows of peers that are too soon celebrated and promptly fizzle.

Currently, Lips Like Morphine, a fledgling band with few shows under their belt and a brand new self-released album, was recently hailed the next Killers on the cover of some glossy publication; they are now getting a taste of that hype. And then there's Afghan Raiders, whose profile has recently begun to spike despite having a song catalog you can count on one hand.

"We weren't really prepared for how much attention we're getting, not so soon," says Afghan Raiders keyboardist BEANS (nee Vincent Campillo), "We've only made two songs; our very first show was a few weeks ago [and] we just got our CDs the other day."

Vocalist Mikey (Michael Francis) chimes in, "Of course we're excited that people are into it, but it's crazy to see them singing along to songs we just recorded a little while ago."

The electro dance-punk duo known as Afghan Raiders introduced itself to the local live music scene a few weeks ago when it opened for Broken Spindles at the Beauty Bar. On MySpace since 2007, BEANS and Mikey posted their first songs on the musicians' networking site of choice in January 2008. The first of the band's two existing tracks is "Future Thinkers," a high-energy, synth-laden dance track with fuzzy vocoder vocals warning the T.V. generation of untold perils. Second is "Solid Gold," a futuristic love song with squealing keyboards and screeching declarations of eternal devotion. A remix of "Future Thinkers" by L.A.'s Nite Cells and a "Solid Gold" remix by The Slips (U.K.) rounds out Afghan Raiders' debut disc, just under 17 minutes of catchy tunes.

With their sophisticated CD packaging, indie label representation, an already enviable resume of gigs opening for Broken Spindles and the Iceland's Steed Lord show at Hard Rock hotel-casino's Wasted Space, a CD release showcase at Zia Records and headliner show at The Beatles Revolution Lounge -- and a prized place under the wing of Redbull music scout Brandy Vinyl -- Afghan Raiders may seem to be on that all-too-familiar trajectory towards sudden acclaim ... and just-as-sudden demise. That is, until one asks a few questions.

As it turns out, this isn't Afghan Raiders' first foray into music. The pair met a decade ago in a foods class at Green Valley High School in Henderson. Though they were both musicians, they only casually jammed together until Mikey went westward to attend USC's music business program. Out in L.A., Mikey formed Golden Ax, a dance punk band, and enlisted BEANS to commute from Vegas and play keyboards. Golden Ax had its share of success, including a showcase at, the pre-SXSW festival in Austin, and as a homepage MySpace music feature. At the time, Mikey and BEANS had been planning their own side project, but when drama broke up Golden Ax, Afghan Raiders became the pair's priority.

As for their indie label representation through Badical Beats, the connection is even closer: They co-founded the music blog-turned-indie label and are its very first recorded artists. Traditional MySpace networking and good timing hooked them up with Brandy Vinyl and the subsequent opener shows. Capitalizing on the talents of their friends and supporters Afghan Raiders have crafted a surprisingly finished media persona, and have already released their first music video via MySpace earlier this week.

"Out in L.A., the scene was really crowded and not very supportive, but in Vegas we've gotten the chance to stand out and with it so much love," says Mikey. "It's really helped us to get all of this together, everyone's been incredibly helpful."

Not to mention enthusiastic. Booked as the headliner on Aug. 10 for The Beatles Revolution Lounge, Afghan Raiders drew a respectable crowd of friends and downtown hipsters to the Mirage venue. Oakland's Wallpaper warmed up the crowd with his sequin-clad, lounge lizard performance, as did local DJs Aurajin and Mike Attack, but it was Afghan Raiders that had the crowd squeezing shoulder-to-shoulder up to the stage.

Dressed as Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles in sky blue and tangerine costume military coats -- complete with black bob wigs and false mustaches where needed -- Afghan Raiders made the most of their two tracks with a lively 25-minute set that was equal parts electro dance jam and punk rock stage show. Dodging a rainbow cornucopia of helium balloons, Mikey and BEANS sang, danced, pounded on keyboards and took turns shaking a tambourine with unflinching dedication, stopping only to reclaim a wig that had been head-banged off or to high-five adoring audience members who sang along with the lyrics.

"Their songwriting is what separates them from who they might be compared to [Chromeo, Datarock, Daft Punk]," says Vinyl, the band's acting manager. "It's significant and that's what I look for in a band -- not just that they have potential or a good look or a following, but that their music is significant."

"Plus," she adds, "They put on a good show."

Those two attributes will be tested over the next few months as Afghan Raiders take September off to write more songs and prepare for NYC's CMJ festival, where they hope to book a showcase and land a distribution contract.

"It's great to have so much interest," says Mikey, "But we know that it won't last if we don't keep making new music."

"They get bored with you quick in Vegas," BEANS smiles. "We don't want everyone to get sick of us before we even get started."
- Las Vegas Citylife

"LAS VEGAS WEEKLY - Disco Inferno - Cramped quarters can’t extinguish Afghan Raiders’ energy"

Next time, I’m wearing roller skates.

Well, actually, probably not, if Afghan Raiders play Beauty Bar’s interior again. And certainly not, if the joint is as packed as it is tonight—so crammed that when a wheelchair tries to squeeze through the crowd, it very nearly forces bodies onto the nearby bar.

Still, listening to Mikey and Beans work through their late-Saturday electro set, I’m wishing the duo was set up behind the club—not in lieu of the monthly Down & Derby roller disco transpiring out back, but as part of it.

Instead, the Afghan guys are indoors, which cuts down on their—and our—movement considerably, but makes for a memorable scene nonetheless, what with all the smoke wafting through the dim lighting surrounding Mikey’s sashaying torso and Beans’ bobbing head.

From the Archives
Afghan Raiders give Beauty Bar’s new PA the ultimate test (03/13/09)
Afghan Raiders overcome odds with CMJ takeover (10/30/09)
Band Guide
Afghan Raiders

Tonight’s gig coincides with the release of the Raiders’ second CD (a two-song job pairing promising new cuts “Admiral’s Doorbell” and “Morphine Dream”), but neither performer says anything to advertise that fact. Stacks of discs are simply left on the foot of the short stage, along with compact posters of the group, for anyone wandering by to snag. “‘Admiral’s Doorbell’ is an aviation term for when a pilot ditches his cargo,” Beans explains after the show. “That’s what we feel we’re doing—stripping everything back and just sticking with what matters. So free show, free CDs, free posters …” Mikey finishes the thought: “We just want it to make it fun for everybody.”

It has definitely been that, despite the absence of dancers on wheels. “Amazing! I can’t believe I was in that band,” Beans marvels. “I haven’t seen Beauty Bar packed like this in years.” The duo, which has played live only 23 times—11 in town—seems to gain confidence with each outing, a product, perhaps, of a daily rehearsal regimen. That seriousness didn’t go unnoticed by South by Southwest, which invited the Las Vegans to participate in this year’s fest, or by The Faint, which commissioned Afghan Raiders to provide an official remix of their track “Mirror Error.” Don’t be surprised to see the pair remixing for other name artists in the months to come.

As for soundtracking a live roller disco, Mikey says nothing is out of bounds. “We’ll talk about it,” he says. “We’d love to be outside for it next time.” - Las Vegas Weekly

"SPIN.COM - Hot New Electronic Duo Remix the Faint"

Las Vegas-based Afghan Raiders could be this year's breakout dance act.

On last year's Fasciinatiion, Omaha-based electro-rockers the Faint churned out some of the darkest digital dirges they've ever produced. It's hard to fathom those songs becoming even more aggressive, but that's exactly what Afghan Raiders do with their remix of the Faint's "Mirror Error," available here as an exclusive download.

Afghan Raiders add fuzzy bursts and blasts to the track, and even drop the tempo to a middling BPM level that's perfect for emphatic headbanging. As the song builds to a crescendo, waves of insect-like noise come crashing down while the Raiders repeatedly loop a random line from the Faint's original: "Now he only focuses on dreams."

Download the remix below, and head to Afghan Raiders' MySpace to hear a few of their original tracks, including the gripping "Future Thinkers." The duo's debut EP is due later this year. - SPIN Magazine

"XLR8R.COM - The Faint - Mirror Error (Afghan Raiders Re-Work)"

Las Vegas-based electronic-garage duo Afghan Raiders claims that they are not DJs, and yet the boys have gone and done a number on this track from The Faint’s last album, Fascination. The buzzy, electrified version focuses on distant “dreams” and electro beats. - XLR8R Magazine

"RCRD LBL - Exclusive New Download: Afghan Raiders - Admiral's Doorbell + The Faint - Mirror Error (Afghan Raiders remix)"

While neu rave poster boys Digitalism and Klaxons dropped out of site to record their sophomore efforts, a new, less Euro-centric crowd is claiming chunks of their territory. Among them are relative newcomers Afghan Raiders, a Las Vegas-based duo whose vision for rock-tinged techno has serious pop appeal. That their second single,"Admiral's Doorbell," arrives nearly a year after their first speaks to the group's focus on quality over quantity, and it pays off in spades. Their distorted beats galvanize a catchy harmonized chorus for setting off sweaty audiences, whether they're in a club or at a basement show. Afghan Raider's songwriting prowess has not gone unnoticed as proven by their remix of The Faint's "Mirror Error." Attuned to The Faint's aesthetic, the pair punches up the tension while recalling Fischerspooner's pop electro approach. If Digitalism and Klaxons leave the throne empty for too long they might find Afghan Raiders in their seats. -


Admiral's Doorbell (Single)
1. Admiral's Doorbell
2. Morphine Dream

Solid Gold - The Remixes (EP)
1. Solid Gold (The Slips Remix)
2. Solid Gold (Gengini / Gachette of the Mastiff Remix)
3. Solid Gold (The Badical Remix)
4. Solid Gold (Techjio Remix)
5. Solid Gold (Thrust Lab Remix)

Future Thinkers / Solid Gold (EP)
1. Future Thinkers
2. Solid Gold
3. Future Thinkers (Nite Cells Remix)
4. Solid Gold (The Slips Remix)

Phoenix - "1901 (Afghan Raiders Remix)"

The Faint - "Mirror Error (Afghan Raiders Remix)"

Broken Spindles - "The Moist Red Mess (Afghan Raiders Remix"



Hard to put into a corner, Las Vegas-based duo AFGHAN RAIDERS take a little here and there from house, glam, hip-hop, and disco, combining it all into a visceral live show that has audiences both shaking asses and banging heads.

The band recently released their debut EP, "FUTURE THINKERS / SOLID GOLD," under their own label and music blog, Badical Beats. Since then, they've been blowing minds with their over-the-top energy and outrageous live antics, sharing the stage with artists like YACHT, Classixx, Wallpaper, Broken Spindles, and Metronomy.

Mikey and Beans biggest contemporary influences include DFA, Digitalism, Madlib, LCD Soundsystem, and Animal Collective. Always looking for new inspiration and keeping their ears to the ground for new, fresh sounds, both members spend time everyday researching and blogging about the latest and greatest in music from all genres, which explains why Afghan Raiders' music tends to blend many different genres with ease.

In just a short period of time, Afghan Raiders have garnered a hefty following and played several notable shows in the US including the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City (2008), the SXSW Music Festival in Austin (2009), and the West Coast circuit.

This summer the band unleashed their hard-hitting remix for The Faint’s “Mirror Error” as well as their tweaked-out, club-heavy remix for Phoenix's hit single "1901" to support their new single, "Admiral's Doorbell" with the b-side "Morphine Dream".

The duo has a handful of West Coast tour dates planned this summer, but in the meantime, they are holed up in the studio working on some top secret remixes and new material for the fall.


"Las Vegas-based Afghan Raiders could be this year's breakout dance act." -

"Their distorted beats galvanize a catchy harmonized chorus for setting off sweaty audiences, whether they're in a club or at a
basement show...If Digitalism and Klaxons leave the throne empty for too long they might find Afghan Raiders in their seats." - RCRD LBL

"Afghan Raiders will destroy your ass." - LV CityLife