Audiocrash and Gene Loves Jezebel

Go ahead, say awww: Audiocrash got together thanks to a couple of preschoolers — well, not exactly. See, the wives of band cofounders Craig Schembri and Guy Strempack attended preschool together. Explains Schembri: "They said, 'Hey, we should go to dinner or to a concert.' And I said, 'Yeah, yeah, whatever.' So we went to a Mute Math concert, I think, and I said, 'Guy, this is the kind of stuff I write!' A week later he came to my house and I pulled out the acoustic." Almost immediately the two concocted "Life Line," one of the lead singles off the band's forthcoming debut album, Time Sensitive Material.

But they were hardly musical novices. Schembri spent the Eighties and Nineties playing in South Florida outfits the Stand and 11th Hour. Strempack served overseas in the armed forces and fronted a psychobilly (!) band called, alternately, the Numbskulls and the Swampcorpse.

Now, all grown up, the two craft searching, subtle rock creations with smooth, shimmering textures. And say awww again: The band members are seriously devoted to good works. They recently auctioned themselves (well, a set by their band) off to benefit BeausArt, a local charity. And a portion of the proceeds from sales of their debut EP, Playing with Razorblades (available on iTunes), will go to the Broward Children's Cancer Center.

But wait: The unexpected icing on the cake at this New Year's Eve party is a headlining slot by dark Eighties rockers Gene Loves Jezebel. While their morosely romantic leanings and watery, echoing production usually get them pegged with the "goth" tag, there are driving, even danceable anthems like the 1983 single "Desire (Come and Get It)." Then there are elegiac ballads like "Who Wants to Go to Heaven?" And this dichotomy is, of course, the sweetest thing.

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Arielle Castillo
Contact: Arielle Castillo