Saddle Creek | Cursive | Reviews


Mama, I'm Swollen

03/16/2009 | | | Live Show Preview
Artist: Cursive
Album: Mama, I'm Swollen
Recommended if you like: concept albums/art rock
From the press kit:
"...a dizzying range of amped-up hardcore ("In The Now"), horn-powered country ("I Couldn't Love You"), and angular balladry ("Let Me Up"). Cursive haven't sounded this crazed and inspired since their breakthrough album, 2003's The Ugly Organ." - Rolling Stone
"...Cursive rocking out at its best. Lyrically, frontman Tim Kasher never misses a step, proving once again why he's among indie rock's greats." - Billboard
Standout Tracks: "From The Hips","Let Me Up"
Worth a second listen?:
Cursive is probably best known for 2003's The Ugly Organ and two of the amazing songs on that album - "Art is Hard" and "The Recluse". 2006's Happy Hollow was a tougher listen for me - nothing on it captured my attention like The Ugly Organ did. Mama, I'm Swollen seems to be borne out of the legacy of The Ugly Organ - Tim Kasher is back writing lyrics about more personal subjects and as a lyrically obsessive music lover, this is what makes me sit up and take interest.

Cursive is currently on tour in support of Mama, I'm Swollen. I was able to catch their show in SD last night. It was sold out and was, by all accounts, epic.

I was up front near Tim's mic all night - didn't take many photos as this was my first time seeing Cursive. I didn't even take notes so no set list. But there were definitely songs that stood out for me. I was surprised at how much I liked the songs from Happy Hollow - some material just sounds better live and I think this was the case. "Rise Up Rise Up!" was played early on and really set the stage for the madness. Another early favorite was "I Couldn't Love You" from the new album. I noticed right away that the new drummer, Cornbread Compton (formerly of Engine Down) brought an intensity to all the songs. (I ran into a friend afterwards and that was the first thing he said to me - "their new drummer is AMAZING!") They played for a solid 45 minutes before ending with my favorite song from the new album "From The Hips". After a quick break (Tim had to get more whiskey apparently), they came back on stage and rocked us for another 30 minutes of mostly older material such as "Big Bang", "Art is Hard" and the mind-blowing "Sink to the Beat" (my favorite lyrics of the night: some melodies are like disease/they can inflame your misery/they will infect your memories/they haunt me/some memories are like disease/they can inflame your misery/they will infect your melody/they haunt me ).

I'm trying to remember what they ended the encore with but I am coming up blank. Near the end of the song, Tim went back over to Compton's drumkit and gave his guitar to him to hold (hello feedback) while he banged away on the drums. It was a great way to end the show. I spoke to quite a few people afterwards who were just raving about how great the show was. One person told me that he had seen them 4x before and this was definitely the best one of all. Catch them on this tour and definitely pick up the new album!
Mama, I'm Swollen

Mama, I'm Swollen

LP / CD / MP3