Exclusive: Seattle Punks King Youngblood Unleash ‘Afrothunda’ Stream the New EP and Comic
By Nathan Leigh
October 26, 2022
Never accuse King Youngblood’s Cameron Lavi-Jones of lacking ambition. With their latest project, the activist and songwriter adds another hyphenate to their title, transforming the band’s new EP into an entire cosmology and comics series. AFROTHUNDA charts the band’s origins by way of the planet Xenon. On a quest to defeat the aptly-named Dr. Eval Petrovskin, the band teams up with the always welcome (whether fictional or real) Danny Denial to discover their hidden powers. Throughout, there’s an irresistible mix of the deadly serious and camp. An entire panel is devoted to listing the superheroic Lavi-Jones’ aliases, while undercurrents about gentrification and climate change fuel the narrative. It’s the kind of blend of tones that fueled some of the best Silver Age narratives.
Of course, no comic series about a band is complete without its soundtrack, and with The Soundtrack – Vol. 1, the band delivers. Leaning on the sound that made last spring’s BIG THANK such a ride, the band keeps the intensity at full. Highlights like the hardcore-tinged “Y.O.Y.O.” and the explosive “Wrong of Me” anchor the EP, fleshed out with the BIG THANK stunner “too late, too soon” and a remix of “NEW TOMORROW.” The scope and ambition on display is seriously impressive, Vol. 2 can’t come soon enough.
Cameron Lavi-Jones tells us, “The fire in the King Youngblood engine has always been disrupting spaces where there aren’t a lot of people who look like us. Personally, I’ve always been a huge anime and visual novel fan. For context, on my 8th birthday, my parents photoshopped a picture of my face onto a comic cover of the Incredible Hulk, I grew up attending Comicons from all over, and for a minute there, I even got a chance to work for Marvel in my teenage years. Similarly to our experience in the rock world, in the world of anime and comics, there wasn’t a lot of representation for me as a fan to look towards. Now, off the heels and through the open doors our debut album BIG THANK created, comes another chance for us to showcase how we want to make sure that Black and Brown folks see themselves in the things that they are passionate about. So when we had the idea to create AFROTHUNDA, it was such a natural extension of the unapologetic work we’ve always been doing. Plus, the fact remains that we really be having fun with it too.”
Follow King Youngblood on socials for more @kingyoungbloodmusic
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