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Death in the Afternoon - Absinthe Junk
Buy Death in the Afternoon


LABEL: Bohemian Trash Studios
FORMATS: Physical, incl. Vinyl

Band Members

Blair Smart: Vocals, Violin, Organ/Synths/Piano, Orchestration
Patrick Himes: Vocals, Guitar, Synths
Matt Arseneau: Bass, Vocals
Ben Bruno: Drums, Vocals


Things have taken some dramatic turns for the alternative rock assault, Absinthe Junk.

Three years after forming, Absinthe Junk is taking ahold of its voice. After many career u-turns and a few fistfights, the eccentric group of musical misfits have thrown away the formula to pursue their own unique and ambitious sound. The band's unique instrumentation lays the foundation for a sharply crafted assault of metaphorical undertones, which saturate the moment, leaving each tune as complex and unique as the instrumentation before it. The free-wheeling spirit of the band completely parallels the unique era of French history that inspired their name.

Absinthe was the drink of choice during the Bohemian Revolution and is still the most maligned drink in world history, with a near-worldwide ban in 1915. "Basically, it was banned on junk science," singer and multi-instrumentalist Blair explains. She adds about the reflection on her group's double entendre band name to their music. "The ideals of pushing boundaries, defying the mainstream commercialism, and just playing what we want, how we want, whether the world thinks it's trash or not, embodies what we're about."

After their first full-length release, 'Living Ghosts', Absinthe Junk found themselves boxed into mainstream idealism; a place where it was thought that keyboards and background vocals ruin records and the road since then has been nothing but a battle to break away from that chain of convention.

"I have no interest in sounding like all the bands down the street… if we don't test our limits as artists, what right do we have to call ourselves such?" asks Blair.

In their upcoming sophomore release, 'Death in the Afternoon,' Absinthe Junk has taken a careful approach to not lose the human element and the beautiful imperfections of real music. "We try to make the best records we can and stay on the road as much as possible, and get an audience the old fashion way." shares guitarist and vocalist, Patrick Himes.

Absinthe Junk took a 180 approach to Death in the Afternoon', versus their debut, self-engineering and producing every aspect of the record. At the same time, the lyrical and tonal approach has been equally rediscovered. "We're a group of goofballs who love to make noise together and that attitude has found its way into songs. The most piercing idea of a tune may be surrounded by peppy tones, making it almost comical," Blair shares. "Life's too short to be so damn serious. Adding an element of comedy to make the music a little more tongue-in-cheek has been one of my favorite changes that we've made as a band."

Still not for the timid listener of rock, Absinthe Junk's ethereal melodies are fused with eclectic musical influences, and held together with smart, relatable lyrics - all of which forge a hard hitting melodic alliance.

“The new album may not be the hippest thing to hit the streets, and it definitely won't be perfect," added Blair. "It's built to last; to be timeless. It will be real, identifiable, and it will be epic."


"Open your mind, put this band in your cocktail ... Absinthe Junk straddles a line between uniqueness and straight-forward commercialism ... [they are] all about playing with boundaries and expanding and switching up their sound."- Nick Schwab, Dayton City Paper

"Even though their lead singer, Blair, is something of a wunderkind on various instruments, it is her voice that is at the center of this act. Evanescence seems to be the most obvious comparison but somehow, Absinthe Junk seems to feel a little more authentic for some reason ... She is out for the kill. This band is talented and they are capable, very capable; the ensuing music will most definitely be something to look out for." - Indie Music Reviews

“Interesting, mysterious & appealing ... It is great to hear a band and an album that exhibits so much creativity & originality. In a sea of crap that constantly floods our markets today, Absinthe Junk come crashing in with actual Living Substance.” - Jimme Rae, Skope Magazine


March 25th 2013. By Ashley Jean for GoldenMixTape.com

After lulling myself to sleep with Fall Out Boy’s latest track, I dreamed of a world where records and musicians rediscovered themselves. I woke up to read Gerard Way’s statement, my shoulders slumping; the only musicians I really considered artists had disbanded. A few clicks and scrolls later, I peeked into my inbox and came across the cacophonous melodies of Absinthe Junk.

Death in the Afternoon is a jarring title – at least to my own personal emotions. On the contrary, there has been a birth this morning.  Upon listening to “White Nights,” I couldn’t really divulge an opinion simply because the track merely offered a glimpse to what the musicians in Absinthe Junk are capable of concocting.

Each individual song on Death in the Afternoon includes its own trademark. In “Devilish Grin,” Blair Smart’s vocals exceed expectation when she wails to the listener to “save your soul.”  In “Hysterical Claim,” the vocal harmonies are ever present and highly gratifying to the melodious ear, while “Sunday Morning Breakfast Static” distorts the mind with the presence of dissonance. But perhaps my favorite on the record is the final track, “Oneiromancy,” because of its incorporation of placid piano and spoken poetry.

Because of its uniqueness, I’d hate to compare it to every day sounds –to birds, to other bands I’ve heard – and instead dare you to take the plunge into the unknown. If you’re anything like myself, a listener on a desperate excursion to locate the artistry in music, then you’ll appreciate the inventiveness of Absinthe Junk.

April 22nd 2013. SputnikMusic.com

Absinthe Junk’s ethereal melodies are fused with eclectic musical influences and textures from around the world and darkened by an edgy army of harmonizing and melodic guitars—all of which forge a hard hitting progressive alliance. Absinthe Junk breaking out wide in 2010 after signing to Severe Records, has been the winner of ReverbNation’s Playlist 7 contest, featured by Windows Media Weekly and distributed on a compilation at SXSW. Drawing on frontwoman Blair’s wide ranging imagination as a trained jazz saxophonist, orchestral composer and—would you believe?— successful comic book visual artist, the band mixes everything from progressive to alt metal and goth rock. Their innovative approach to songwriting finds critics drawing comparisons to other female led rock units Evanescence and Garbage and also to genre-bending frontrunners Abney Park and Portishead.

They’re not for the timid listener or rock fan whose tastes are easily boxed in—each song sports unique instrumentation ranging from violin to Turkish saz all the way to a fully orchestrated symphony. All of that lays the foundation for a sharply crafted assault of metaphorical undertones which saturate the moment, leaving each tune as complex and unique as the instrumentation before it. The freewheeling spirit of the band completely parallels the unique era of French history that inspired their name.

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