Today, we have a unique band on our pages. Straight from Phoenix, AZ, come Afterbirth Cartoons, a sardonic beat punk rock trio inspired by the cartoons that were popular during the nineties. So, if you grew up watching cartoons on Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network, this band might be right up your alley. Afterbirth Cartoons recently contacted me via email about their debut full-length release, so after a while, their compact disc popped up on my doorstep alongside plenty of eye-peeling stickers. Besides their recent full-length, Afterbirth Cartoons have released a 1939 EP and a standalone single called Spaceydude. However, I would like to talk about their debut full-length release today.
It’s a conceptual album about hating your job and calling in sick to waste the day watching TV. Now here comes the fun part. The band dedicated each composition to a different show, so you’ll notice similarities with many cartoons, series, commercials, and television shows covered throughout the entire album. As much as it sounds like it was done just for fun, Afterbirth Cartoons did this with the purpose. It’s a call to action for the labor movement happening in real-time. It isn’t punk rock if it doesn’t involve some activism. Soundwise, Afterbirth Cartoons are profoundly inspired by the nineties music, but you may also stumble upon some sonic movements that might resemble some contemporary sound. Judging by their tracks, the band nurtures a specific blend of punk rock, riot grrrl, garage punk, grunge, and alternative. Still, there’s always space for more, so you’ll unquestionably stumble upon some other styles as well.
There’s no doubt that a lot of things are going on in their music. As the band stated in their bio, they were inspired by the bands like Nirvana, Dead Kennedys, Tenacious D, Beat Generation, and many more, so this is a good starting point for anyone who’s listening to this band for the first time. All the beforementioned genres, styles, and groups are almost equally present in their music, so Afterbirth Cartoons unquestionably sound unique. Sick Day resonates with a special ambiance that’s not so easy to define with simplistic musical terms, and that’s where lays the beauty of this band. You need to listen to Sick Day to fully understand how they implemented a thick layer of socio-political criticism over cartoon-inspired punk rock music. The album is available directly from Afterbirth Cartoons, so head to their website for more information about ordering.