I first heard Jail Weddings a few months after falling in love with PAPA’s A Good Woman is Hard to Find, which became one of my favorite EPs of 2012. (In retrospect, Jail Weddings’ Four Future Standards EP should have received similar treatment.) What initially drew me to Jail Weddings was that Gabriel Hart’s vocal styling reminded me of the Daniel Presant/Darren Weiss collaboration. So much so, I had to look up the members to confirm they weren’t identical.
The stark difference is easily apparent, and it continues on Meltdown. There’s a darkness that exists, making PAPA’s music sound borderline sunny (after all, that duo is from California). Further, orchestration is a more central theme with Jail Weddings — you’ll hear strings, and that oft-orchestral favorite of dynamic volume. You get a taste of it on Meltdown‘s first single, “It’s Not Fair”:
The track premiered on My Old Kentucky Blog (MOKB), which had this to say about the song:
Single “It’s Not Fair” has the cinematic feel of a grindhouse flick with extremes of cool permeating under flickers of underlying darkness and sadism.
I agree wholeheartedly, but feel that both the “grindhouse flick” and the “underlying darkness and sadism” are even stronger in opening track “There is a Distance”, which is the feature music behind the album’s trailer. “There is a Distance” begins softly and moodily, instrumentals stripped to piano and organ with Hart’s deep emotive vocals in their signature quivering, near over-exaggerated way.
Just beyond the midpoint, the song explodes in a chill-inspiring volume; it’s not quite on par with the chills you’ll get from “Golden Star” by My Brightest Diamond, but over time it may hold a viable spot in its shadow. Now, pair it with the video below, and you’ll understand the chills I’m talking about and the sadistic nature this band can induce.
Jail Weddings will release Meltdown: A Declaration of Unpopular Emotion August 27 on Neurotic Yell Records.