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Cursive's Domestica

Author: Thomas Prindle
06/07/2000 | Instant Magazine | | Album Review
What better way to create an emotionally fueled album than to write and record the better part of a tumultuous separation. Insisting that Domestica is not autobiographical, Tim Kasher writes and sings Cursive's "...soundtrack to the most troubling, intimate moments of our lives." Mr. Kasher, following a divorce from a Mrs. Kasher, serves up some guitar-driven, angst-ridden, post-hardcore, switch-tempo rock that truly reveals lyrically the bitterness of a relationship run amuck.

Joined by Ted Stevens (Lullaby for the Working Class) on guitars and vocals, drummer Clint Schnase, bassist Matt Maginn, and recorded and mixed by brothers Mogis (Bright Eyes, Lullaby for the Working Class), Domestica is a short, full-length blast of released tension. Perhaps the opening track, "The Casualty", sums up the central theme of this album best. "The night has fallen down the staircase/And I, for one have felt it's bruises," sings Kasher with direct lyrical imagery. "The shoe is dropped/Lungs explode/Shards of words of a shattered voice/And there's still a hole where the phone was thrown." This, their third full length release, was initially meant to be a lighter, more melodic release but like marriage itself...things don't always work out.

The signature of Cursive seems to be their refined guitar crunch that brings to mind early Karate, Bob Tilton, and some of the other sounds coming from Southern Records. For Cursive though, their sound is defined by the Omaha, Nebraska based Saddle-Creek Records family that surrounds them and specifically the Mogis' Dead Space Recording Studios. Their ability to capture the raw emotion of Domestica without burying lyrical importance is a credit to this unique collaborative effort that seems to be marking most of what is being released from Saddle Creek. I will say this, at just over 32 minutes, this full length release is short. It seems to me Cursive could have added a few more tracks, perhaps tackling some of those lighter, more melodic songs originally sought. But then again, maybe it's the desperate theme of heartbreak,infidelity, and anger that has me wanting so much more.
Cursive's Domestica

Cursive's Domestica

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