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The Band in Heaven and Weird Wives' thrilling, caustic jams embody the physical and psychological scorch that comes along with every South Florida summer. By mid-August, any thermometer looks like a middle finger, everyone's back is blistering from sunburn, the car radiator's fucked, and the least comforting thing in the world would be the added warmth of another human being. While you were just bitching some more, each of West Palm Beach artists released two songs on this vitriolic split cassette.
"Suicide Pact" from the Band in Heaven's side is as morose a place to start as any. Lyrically ("We're just friends, to the end/ Til we're dead") the song's just as flowery -- you know, those things you place around a casket -- as the name implies. As Ates Isildak and Lauren Dwyer ramp up the morbid male-female tension with their vocals, the minimalist garage rock backbeat gets a bucket of lightning thrown over it for a fuzz-filled conclusion. Whereas, if you're already so hot your teeth are sweating, there's nothing holding you back from dancing along with the JAMC-conjuring "Summer Bummer."
For that inevitable hallucination-ridden hangover, there's side two. Even with key Surfer Blood players in place, Weird Wives is defined by self-punishing frontman Nick Klein. When his lyrical content is indiscernible, every blood-curdling howl in "Head Bugs" is still deeply felt. It's a complicated two minutes with depth-scraping guitar work and even a few sunny bars in there to complete a masochistic cycle courtesy of Thomas Fekete. "Wet Blanket" sends Klein further into the abyss, whispering like a ghost and then unfolding a demonic scream, while drummer Marcos Marchesani batters his drum set with every intention of breaking it. Cathartic until the end. Also, is that a Creedence riff?
Top Track: "Summer Bummer"