Mama, I'm Swollen
Author: Falling James
During their decade-long career, the Omaha band Cursive have broken up at least once and gone on hiatus at other times, but it's a good thing that they've stuck around as long as they have. Their new CD, Mama, I'm Swollen, on Saddle Creek might be their most fully realized and stylistically diverse album yet. "I'm writing out a confession/every record I've written has left me spitting," Tim Kasher sings on the ambivalent autobiography "Mama, I'm Satan." He references "a career in masturbation," the nature of creativity, the commonality of evil and this country's history of slavery and declares, "We are the sons of butchers," before being consumed in a storm of spacy post-punk guitars. Cursive aren't as rootsy or countrified as many of their Saddle Creek peers, ranging instead from the punk urgency of "In the Now" to the gently lulling pop of "From the Hips," where a reluctant Kasher claims, "I'm in my best when I'm at my worst ... I don't want to know the goddamn words/I don't want to have to spell it out." But spell it out he does on "I Couldn't Love You," where he wails with a fractured yearning like Robert Smith of the Cure, who were paired with Cursive on the alliterative Curiousa Tour in 2004.