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.
-Rice B. and the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team
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