Saddle Creek | Cursive | Reviews


Cursive's Domestica

Author: Brian Sholis
6/19/2000 | | | Album Review
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I have an admission to make: I am not very good with lyrics. Play a song for me once and I'll have the melody and beat memorized from top to bottom. Give me a lyric sheet and enough time to listen to the song a hundred times and I still won't have the words committed to memory. That said, I discovered two ways to listen to this record.

The first time I listened to it, I simply wanted to get the feel for what the band was doing - whether or not Cursive had deviated from the hard, driving indie rock sound on their first two albums. Having added Lullabye for the Working Class' Ted Stevens guitar and back-up vocals to the lineup, this record is as full, driving, and rocking as ever. I have a cinematic mental image of band members while I listen to the record: Tim Kasher, lead vocalist and guitarist is up front,
standing in front of the camera as a slide show is projected behind him. On these slides is an ever-changing combination of the other members; during one part of the song, only drums accompany Kasher's vocals, but the bass and guitars come crashing back in immediately after. It seems as if the band is using the song structures as a revolving door in which to enter and leave at their own will - their
comings and goings keep the songs amazingly fresh through three-, four-, and almost five-minute song lengths.

The second time through, I had done a little homework on the record, learning about its "concept album" nature - chronicling Kasher's take on relationships after a brief marriage - and I followed the lyrics while I listened. An entirely different feeling swept over me. I can 't quite explain it, as I tend to be too jaded in my old age (20) to really be affected by lyrics these days, but something kept me very
reserved when listening to the record the second time through. I respect Kasher's ability to put forth such brutally honest thoughts on very touchy subjects.

I'm now left with an internal dichotomy: I know how gut-wrenchingly
serious the lyrics are, and yet I find that I can't quite sit still to write this review - my hands keep playing air guitar and drumming on my desk. The record gives off a certain tension that I haven't found in many other indie records in the past few years. On a smaller scale than the grand aspirations of Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song, Cursive's Domestica continues the themes of Cursive's earlier
work, leaving me hungry for more. I look forward to seeing them
perform these songs live on tour this summer.

9 out of 10.

Cursive's Domestica

Cursive's Domestica

LP / CD / MP3