So apparently some historians are attributing alcohol with a highly heuristic influence in the development of civilisation and sedentism, in fact we can also thank alcohol (specifically Absinthe) for some of the more out the box creativity from the likes of Picasso, Salvador Dali, Jean-Michel Basquiat amongst countless others. In that vein of artistic inebriated idiosyncrasy we can also thank the devils nectar for the squalid yet tantalising fortified musical bizzarity that is The Afternoon Gentlemen.
Most people are no stranger to alcohol, in fact band members on average probably drink more than a divorcee at Christmas, however the Afternoon Gents maximise the output of this liver damaging lifestyle of consuming copious amounts of cheap gut rotting booze, doubling it up as a source of inspiration both thematically and musically.
The music itself is so drunk it doesn’t even know if its Powerviolence or Grindcore swaying between the two, and occasionally getting enough Dutch courage to drink drive its bpm into the fastcore territory. It’s a born-from-booze oddity that doesn’t directly correlate with anything that has entered my listening regime, there are hints of post piss up Spazz and a stronken Apartment 213, but fundamentally it retains its own sense of character. Which is highly fortunate since its quirky character is undeniably one of the best, not just in how greatly they flesh out the whole drunkards armed with instruments theme, but in the contagiously rabid and humorous play style they blurt out.
Of particular interest is the choice of vocals which dramatically shifts from ungodly screeches and howls, to formulaic powerviolence types and on occasion group vocals, all in such a jolting weirdness you can’t help but wonder if it is purposeful original vocal employment or merely a by-product of the Yorkshire accent. The musical dynamics are beyond unorthodox, from sudden bouncing breakdowns to hip-hop samples, and even a sample of the loathsome sorry excuse for music Waking the Cadaver just before the band rescue it with their groove heavy funky grinding music. The band make a lot of use of tempo changes, and stop and start moments, as a release it has varying sound quality, unsurprising since it’s a discography release of whom this band can proudly boast having done splits with Suffering Mind, Cyborg (Weekend Nachos side project) and Osk(all of which I proudly own and given constant listens to).
However most crucial to the ethos and enjoyability of the release is that at its core and throughout the whole duration of its 38 tracks the release is great fun to listen to, exceptionally fun. Coupling the fun aspect with its highly original take on grind/powerviolence norms, The Afternoon Gentlemen really do stand out as some of the best music out there.
Best enjoyed with super strength booze, some rollies and an ample supply of what you plan to roll ;)