Saddle Creek | Cursive | Reviews


Mama, I'm Swollen

Author: Hal Horowirtz
04/27/2009 | Sunday Paper | | Album Review
Tim Kasher isn't a contented guy.

In fact, as founder, frontman and lyricist for Cursive, he's been detailing his inner demons and insecurities since 1995. However, that doesn't seem to have made him any less conflicted, at least based on the group's new album. One look at the title is confirmation that all is far from well in Kasher's world.

Surely, Cursive fans wouldn't want it any other way. After all, Kasher's lyrics are a major factor in the group's longevity and popularity. So chalk up some more angst as he shouts "I'll cast you out, I'll shut you out," on "Mama, I'm Satan," against thrashing, Pixies-influenced guitars that translate those feelings into appropriately twitchy music.

Other songs, such as "I Couldn't Love You," "We're Going to Hell" and the six-minute grand finale of "What Have I Done?" continue the album's questioning of the human condition, especially as it relates to the singer's own life ("The gods must be laughing down at me"), with no light at the end of the tunnel.

Perhaps we can identify with Kasher's troubled mind, or maybe hearing his problems make ours seem less weighty. If so, that's reason enough to dig into these 10 slabs of torment guaranteed to bring you down, all played with an appropriate indie-rock passion and intensity that never (well, seldom) feel as overwrought as the words.

As he says in "From the Hips," "I'm at my best when I'm at my worst." 3 STARS
Mama, I'm Swollen

Mama, I'm Swollen

LP / CD / MP3