Weird Wives' Debut LP Redefines Band's Wild Rep
Weird Wives at Moonfest 2010.
Photo by Monica McGivern
The fly in the ointment of West Palm Beach punk, Weird Wives, is poised to solidify its local standing by bucking its rabid past. In three years as a live act, the quartet has developed an infamous rep for smashing equipment amid lengthy, face-melting jams (including a nine-minute assault of sludge and feedback titled "Bulldozer Puppet Fucker") and amplifying red-bearded frontman Nick Klein's disorienting stage antics. However, its first full-length album -- we'll get to its hefty title in a minute -- is surprisingly staid in comparison to past material, often dotted with references to art-punk by Fugazi, Sonic Youth, and Jesus Lizard.
"There's only so much you can weird someone out with an obvious onslaught of sound and wild behavior," says Klein, who is comparably composed and genial offstage. "We're not 20 anymore. Not like you have to grow out of being wild, but we're just wild in different ways now. The only thing we can do to be raucous and wild is to undercut every expectation. The easiest way to do that is to undercut our own expectations -- switching instruments, switching things up all the time."
Photo by Monica McGivern
Wild eclecticism dots Weird Wives' newest songs, from German-rock-inspired ambience ("Peak Commute") to spooky psychedelia ("Predator 4") to other absurdities that aren't purely brute force but sure aren't lullabies either. Stream three tracks here.
And the title of this ten-song project, available at the Snooze Theatre on Friday via CD-R and limited-edition cassette on October 31, is 29 words of subversive: Some Motherfuckers Gonna Be Walking 'Round With a Size 9 Diehard Up Their Ass, Cause Apparently They Ain't Never Seen a Short AC Man Get Bad Ass on Methadone. It evolved from a choice utterance made by Klein's ex-coworker at a construction job.
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"This painkiller addict -- superfriendly, higher-up, company kind of guy -- came up and randomly popped some pills in front of me while I was trying to sand this wall and told me that," he says with a laugh. "I loved it. It was poetic."
Recording for Some Motherfuckers took place earlier this year at La Casa de Madre studio in unincorporated Palm Beach County and at Club Sandwich, the now-shuttered Lake Worth warehouse/clubhouse for many of Palm Beach County's avant-rock acts run by Jordan Pettingill and C.J. Jankow, who have now shifted their efforts to the Snooze Theatre in Lake Park. In the past, Weird Wives guitarist Thomas Fekete, bassist Brian Black, and drummer Marcos Marchesani -- all current or former members of indie-rock act Surfer Blood -- would create the basic tracks first.
Photo by Monica McGivern
"And then Nick would come in last and we'd hand him a microphone and tell him 'do whatever you want,'" explains Fekete. "This time around, every single song was all of us in the room writing it. All of it was recorded live, so that's how we'll play it live."
Additionally, Fekete adds, this work features every member of the group contributing vocals after it was initially planned as a strictly instrumental release. The Jameses' Dan McHugh and Guy Harvey's Adam Perry, both vocalists for like-minded alt-rock acts, provided recording assists.
After a limited-run cassette titled Greater Hits and two songs on last year's split cassette with West Palm Beach shoegaze act the Band in Heaven, Some Motherfuckers represents Weird Wives' first recording released by area experimental label West Palm Beotch. Formed in 2007, the imprint is the pet project of Nelson Hallonquist, AKA "the most legit guy I can think of besides the guy who runs Cephia's Treat Recordings in Tampa," according to Klein.
Hallonquist, a synthesizer specialist who records solo as Lesson Lesson Lessen Relearn and in Universal Expansion (featuring Klein on drums), has often been the only local label with an ear for Florida's most challenging soundscapes. Thus, a partnership built on friendship and mutual respect was formed with this release. He and Klein even collaborated on the gonzo cover art, featuring a sleek silver sports car with "WRD WVS" on its license plate. Klein says it's inspired by critiques the band received from the Florida punk community because of their associations with the decidedly unpunk Surfer Blood.
"It's a way to be truly become subversive and transgressive," he says, and adds, "It's a pretty beautiful image too."
West Palm Beotch Release Show. With Weird Wives, Russian Tsarlag, Haves &
Thirds, Love Handles, and Universal Expansion. 7 p.m. Friday, October 7,
at Snooze Theatre, 798 Tenth St., Lake Park. Tickets cost $5. Call 561-842-7949. Click here.
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