After Nations / Press

“Clearly influenced by great post rock artists like Mogwai and The Mars Volta, After Nations is a fire tornado of sound. Each track, each chord and each arrangement begins with just a little spark, like a dropped glass acting as flint, until the momentum builds and breaks in a rolling cresendo of flame. At times it can be beautiful and glorious in it’s oxidated release of energy with inspiring waves of divergent and pliant organization that comes across unexpected like the approaching intensity of heat. This take on rock stems from a belief that mainstream rock with formulaic progression is bland due to predictability. For those of you completely comfortable with spontaneity it’s easy to note how jazz influenced the experimental take on rock right down to it’s solely instrumental perspective. Ultimately, the sound is loud with an artistic point of view that inspires a release of energy that without warning can be explosive.”

“We ducked in, and quickly out, of some venues, based on what was on the stage in front of us – just because it’s at South By doesn’t automatically make it good. But the “let it happen” mantra I was trying to accept did result in a few unexpected and delightful discoveries – among them, Kansas City’s own After Nations. Made up of guitarist Andrew Elliott, bassist Tyler Mehaffey and drummer Trent Utley, After Nations was blaring some thrashy prog-rock from inside the Karma Lounge so loudly, I’m pretty sure the boys will be paying for it later. No matter. I’ve never had my face melted off so completely by a band before. Just annihilated. And for a crowd of fewer than 20 people. This is what people talk about when they talk about the “magic” of SXSW: the surprises, the coincidences, the surreal finds.”

“After Nations – A band from Kansas City that is redefining prog rock. This young up-and-coming indie prog-rock trio is currently on a self-funded US tour. They came through San Jose on Friday [10.25.2013] and played in a quiet little venue where there were only maybe 10 peeps in the audience. I was floored. These guys are the real deal, playing some seriously sophisticated, authentically good shit. I hope they are packing houses in the bigger cities. Think I’m gonna keep watch of this band. They will go far! Check ‘em out:”

“After Nations’ set had begun full force. “Latrocinium Cabal” was the song of choice to introduce the unknowing audience to the band’s fresh and instrumentally chaotic sound. Immediately, they stood apart as a formidably unique addition to the ever-expanding instrumental prog-rock genre. The band’s drummer, Trent Utley, was all smiles and flailing limbs throughout the whole set. Guitarist Andrew Elliott did not hold back as he furiously picked at his guitar strings, while shuffling all about. Bassist Tyler Mehaffey swayed to and fro, providing a controlled restraint that pulled the performance together. After Nations proved that enthusiasm for innovation is still fully present in the musical industry, and the Seventh Circle was the perfect underground match for their passionately spellbounding performance. The band is to be heard, and the venue is to be experienced. Both are still fairly unknown, but their alternative appeal will assure this won’t be for long.”