Afraid are a trio from Portland, Maine that make paranoid, slowww pop, and though their debut long-player 'Sinister Vibes' is a distinctive album - it sounds unlike anything they or many others have made before. Building on a pair of distended slipstream r&b releases, these new tracks drift away from contemporary pop culture and back into the mid 70s and early 80s. Their more 'refined' acoustics invoke the end of a national cultural adolescence, half-hallucinations of murder and deprivation not unlike the actual, slow revelation mid-century that the American Dream had become grotesquely complicated. Afraid encase a collective vision of a dirtied golden age in amber, alongside all its echoes and acolytes, somberly scrutinizing each vein and whoever stumbles forward within.
"...truly fascinating and addictive." -Hartzine
"...deliberate in its purpose, and powerful in its meaning." -Impose Magazine
"Battick sings like Jarvis Cocker on quaaludes." -The Bangor Daily
"Like a brand new MacBook Pro filled up to critical mass with murder porn, the blood will come (spoiler alert). But when it does it is impossible to tell where from. Stigmata or spray from blunt impact? This works well with 'Sinister Vibes'... a powerful piece of subversive media. Think Small Black meets Have a Nice Life. The stench of death is somewhere close, but even rot can smell sickly sweet. Corpses in the basement of an art gallery opening about the transcendence of black metal." -Tome to the Weather Machine
"This is misunderstood-psycho-core; Jason Voorhees' posthumous bedroom demos; a lullaby that is - according to the 911 dispatcher - coming from inside the house. Yet the vibes stay low-key, and the languid sax solo of 'Hometown Strangler' is a satisfying touch. Sinister Vibes spills across your face like the moon just before the night terrors and sleep paralysis set in to keep you wide awake, shuddering, until morning." -Dispatch Magazine
"Although [Afraid's] earlier work was a bit more on the abstract side, they’ve slowly morphed into a band whose purpose seems to be in creating gloomy atmospheres and lethargic rhythms.... It’s fascinating and successfully draws out every note until the bonds between them seem ready to split and shatter, but the band is able to hold everything together - despite the ever-present sense of dissolution that hovers over everything." -Nooga