Breaking up is hard to do

MAKEUPBREAKUP can't stay away
By CHRIS CONTI  |  August 14, 2013

BRINGING THE THUNDA Zan and Mikeyjams.

Apparently Alexander Laorenza and Michael Lamantia Jr. have carved out some quality time (from fatherhood, the 9-to-5 grind, and a rabid golf addiction) and rekindled their indie-alt-electro rock outfit Makeupbreakup. They’ll play their first show in more than three years on Wednesday at AS220 and will debut new cuts from an EP, Hybrid Talk, set for an early autumn release.

Childhood friends Laorenza and Lamantia (know to most as “Zan and Mikeylams”) co-founded post-apocalyptic punk quartet A Trillion Barnacle Lapse back in 1999 and toured the country (while still in high school), releasing three albums in the early ’00s. Their Makeupbreakup project arrived in 2007; I stumbled upon the first single “Jungle City” on the Jerky’s MySpace page in 2008. The debut EP We Prefer Not To . . . was followed by SCENTS in 2010 with big New Wave synths and Laorenza’s guitar careening around Lamantia’s fuzzed-out vocals (look up “Wow”), landing somewhere between Frightened Rabbit and Phoenix. MUBU released personal favorite Italian Nightmare in 2011 and kicked out harder jams like “Table 11,” named for the back corner spot at their favorite Mexican joint in Providence, Chilango’s Taqueria. (And I’ll never know how “Pretend” didn’t land on WBRU’s drive-time rotation.) The band was getting distribution help from a small indie label and wasted money on an NYC-based PR firm for a short time. Bassist Eric McNiel moved to Oakland, and adulthood came calling in the form of marriage and fatherhood for Laorenza, while Lamantia remains busy with a full-time job as well as his successful partnership with Jeff Toste as Detroit Rebellion.

Nowadays it’s all about small victories for Makeupbreakup, with no stress or strings attached.

“Just finding time in life to get together to write and record nowadays is considered ‘success’ in my book,” Mikeylams said when we sat down earlier this week. If Louisquisset Country Club had a recording studio in the clubhouse, these dudes would be cranking out hits steadily (the cover of Italian Nightmare was taken at a local golf course). The duo decided to lay down the new EP at Lamantia’s North Providence condo rather than renting their go-to studio in Lunenburg, MA.

“We would record a few tracks, take a break, play a quick nine holes, and then get right to it again,” said Lamantia.

Hybrid Talk standout tracks include mellower cuts “Its Me, Gavin” and “Test,” and “Big Deal” is one of MUBU’s best yet. The EP is currently streaming at and the previous releases are available at iTunes and

Lamantia referred to the band as working through a “revolving rhythm section” dating back to their inception. While the duo is accustomed to personnel shuffling, they are particularly pumped about landing a stud of a drummer in Johnny Ferreira, formerly of Santa Mamba. The two met while Lamantia was working as the sound guy at AS220 a few years back, and Ferreira was in a band called Waterbed. Mikeylams lit up when I mentioned MUBU’s new full-time drummer.

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