Rabid Musical Bromance Thrives Between Animal Tropical and Ice Cream

According to totally reliable online resource Wikipedia, a bromance is "a close but non-sexual relationship between two (or more) men, a form of homosocial intimacy."

Musical history is sprinkled with fruitful and creative bromances. There was David Bowie and Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Gram Parsons... and that's just half of the Rolling Stones. Right here in Miami, a wonderful dudely friendship has formed between two bands special to this town: Animal Tropical and Ice Cream.

Initial contact with Animal Tropical guitarist Max Johnston indicated that the main bro connection was between singer Humberto Jose Castillo and Ice Cream guitarist Tomas Kennedy. A chat with Kennedy suggested otherwise.

When we asked Tomas what he specifically liked about each band member, he said with certainty, "Max is fucking hilarious. He gave me a pack of cigarettes too, when I was sleeping." Sounds like a favorite. Though we didn't actually contact Jose for comment, he did leave us a voice message saying, "I'll just be here bromancing at home."

Johnston's response to this information was, "I hook them up with discounts at Sam Ash." He continued, "Really, I felt a bromance brewing there. But I stayed out of the way for others who saw him first. The brotocol is trickier with bromances." You learn something new everyday.

Together, the bands recently released a 10-inch split called "Just Between Us Girls." Kennedy claims that they took the name from a section in People Magazine. But, hello, what an adorably bromantic title!

"I like how pretty their music is," Kennedy said of his boyfriend band. It reminds him of the Talking Heads. "You can't figure out what they're talking about, and I sort of like that."

Roy Hunter of Ice Cream played a major role in Animal Tropical drummer Jorge Rubiera's majestic short film "Birdwatchers." When we interviewed the filmmaker earlier this year, he said of Hunter, "Working with friends is great because they're willing to do things that strangers may not be willing to do."

What are these things, you might ask? "Like Roy had to walk around basically nude through the whole film. I mean, completely nude... I can't express enough thanks, he's an amazing guy." If that's not friendship, we don't know what is.

The two groups even toured together this summer. Kennedy admits there was cuddling on the road. "Absolutely, we definitely cuddle within the bands." He suggested there may have been some cross-band hugs, though. Oh, sweet bromance!

Let's just put it like this, they took two cars up. But they came home together. And, yes, they all shared equipment.

Animal Tropical and Ice Cream with Eclectic Electric's DJ Benton. Thursday, September 29. Electric Pickle (2826 North Miami Ave., Miami. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. and admission is free. Call 305-456-5613 or visit electricpicklemiami.com.

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