Afro Jim: Always Waiting

Band: Afro Jim
Album: Always Waiting (April 2018)
Genre: Alternative Rock / Blues Rock /
City: Wichita, Ks
Standout tracks: Stranger Things, In Search Of Better Times,
Seen Live: kinda

I’ve been a fan of Colton’s music for a while now. I first saw the band Damn Kids. Joe, who was playing drums at the time left the band to play guitar in his own band Circular Reference. Then there was Colton’s separate project called Jolly Giant. Geoff, (who played guitar in Damn Kids,) plays bass in Afro Jim. Even though I have not seen Afro Jim yet, I am familiar with his style.

Alright, lets get in to it!

Stranger Things

 

Stranger Things is the single track from their EP. This song has very fluid transitions; which is impressive considering the dynamic range the song has. It’s very mellow and upbeat. The subtle use of chorus (maybe flanger) on the bridge was cool. (3:34 – 4:04). The combination of the jazz style, syncopated drums with that walking bass line is, GOTDANG FAN-FUCKIN-TASTIC!!! Overall, Colton does a fantastic job displaying a significantly wide vocal range. It is very tasteful in this track.

 

In Search Of Better Times

 

I don’t know what it is exactly, about In Search Of Better Times. It has a lot of things in it that I liked in Stranger Things. Wide vocal range. Tasteful and smooth dynamics. Meaningful and relatable lyrics. I like the “oooooohhh, ahhhhhhhhh” backing vocals.

“I don’t get too much sleep. So much time spent lying awake.
I’m just sure that I need a break. Some time to meditate.
This smile is only skin deep. It stretches so thin.
My mind is near its end. But my pride refuses to bend.

I just ain’t got the time to live. So why spend it feeling sad.”

Getting older sucks. I relate to this because sometimes I have to live vicariously through other peoples success. This struck a nerve to me. An unexpected pluck at my heart string. I feel you.

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Where to improve:

I feel like the EP was well rounded and I enjoyed it a lot. But this wouldn’t be a true critique if I did not have some suggestions or nit-picky things I noticed. The use of effects and transitions were great. I particularly found the bass riffs to be quite tasty. However, the thing that stood out, in both a good and bad way, was Coltons liberal use of his vocal range. There are places where he does a falsetto thing, and it seems a bit off. In some places it worked out very nicely. But it was a bit awkward in other areas. Reminds me of Van Halen hitting a high note. It just seems a bit out of place.

  • Stranger Things (chorus)
  • In Search Of Better Times (0:57) “make what you want of me. AAAAAAIIIII came honestly.”
  • Always Waiting (2:05) (3:40 – 3:45)
  • The Machine (2:31 – 2:47) (3:13 – 3:27) (3:52 – 4:08) “The Truuuuuuuuuuth!”

There were also several places where it sounds like Colton is red-lining the vocal track. It sounds like the sound engineer did a good job hiding it in with the distorted guitars. But I still think it would have sounded better clean. Either Colton was being too dynamic while singing, or maybe a better mic should have been used for tracking. You can hear it a lot  on Hzy Days.

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Here is a neat article from KMUW.
http://www.kmuw.org/post/afro-jim-grows-tired-always-waiting

Make sure to like/follow Afro Jim on their social media platforms for updates and upcoming shows. Also check out their EP where available. links provided below.

FaceBook
Twitter
YouTube
SoundCloud
iTunes
Spotify

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