What hooked me, or what at least lured me to take a listen to Afterthem was the description: “Avant progressive funk influenced by Primus, Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Mr. Bungle, Chili Peppers, Tom Waits and Dr. John.” Well, at least they know who these bands are.
While the description sounds promising, the music on Time Is Fun When You’re Having Flies (Clinical Archives) is not. The first thing that came to mind while listening to their electronic funk is some of the music the P-Funk empire did in the 80′s, as electronic production became prominent. It was their way of getting with the times, and sometimes it was decent, most of the time not. This album sounds like it was recorded in 1982 in a basement on a cassette deck, because the mix is not too good. It’s not raw like a bootleg, but a bad mix only makes things worse. What’s so bad about it? It seems like Afterthem are trying too hard to be freaky and avant-garde, and it ends up sounding anything but. I think if the album and songs were well produced, it would be worth listening to. They need to have a producer not only to let them know how these songs could sound like, but also to make sure these songs are edited and condensed down where need be. A few songs sound like good time noodling, and all I could think was “enough already.”
I’d like to hear these songs redone, or maybe another band perform them. The good thing about this album was that it was free, but I don’t feel I’ll be revisiting this again.