Crash and burn with Weakened Friend's cathartic break up album.
“Recently, Leslie pointed out that sometimes when I date someone I kind of adopt that person’s personality,” Parks and Recreation’s Ann Perkins says in a season five episode of the show. The parks department is holding a garage sale and as the camera pans out, we see Ann is standing among several boxes adorned with her exes’ names on them. “The evidence is fairly damming,” she concludes. The clip is a good sight gag, but it also gets at a deeper truth about relationships: over time, a couple becomes a unit. As a result, a breakup can often feel like a journey of self-discovery. On “Crshd,” the title track of Weakened Friends’ latest EP, singer Sonia Sturino explores this feeling of separation-induced loneliness. With her vocals fed through plenty of distortion, Sonia repeats, “I don’t want to be me if I can’t have you,” over and over during the song’s bridge. When someone who was once your rock is now a pebble in your shoe, disappearing can feel like the easiest solution.
CRUSHED is preoccupied with the often unspoken intricacies of breakups, from wanting to be over an ex but not feeling ready yet (“95”) to wanting your ex to be over you (“Blankets”). On the chorus of “95,” Sturino, who wrote all of the songs, sings, “Everything’s just fine / Just give me a little time.” The line purposely contradicts itself; everything is not fine because time is needed to mend a broken heart. Weakened Friends, which, in addition to Sonia’s role as vocalist and guitarist, also features Annie Hoffman on bass and Cam Jones on drums, plays fuzzy ‘90s inspired pop-punk. The band’s choruses are as big as their hearts and singing along seems less like an option and more of a primordial urge. Case in point comes via the EP's standout “She’s So Cool,” which sounds like it could be a Foil Deer B-side cruelly cut from the album. It also features a killer guitar solo in addition to its taunting chorus of “Stay away from me.” Try as you might, you won’t be able to stay away from these songs. Their hooks will sink deeper with each listen, but, whatever you do, resist the urge to text your ex.
Listen to Weakened Friends on bandcamp.
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Alex Wexelman is a professional music writer and procrastinator. His most prized possession is a book he got hand-signed by Patti Smith. Like his tweets here.