Mama, I'm Swollen
On the top tier of musical exports from Omaha, Neb., and perhaps as influential in their own way as fellow Nebraskans Bright Eyes and Elliot Smith, Cursive helped to bring indie-rock songcraft and melody into the hardcore world. Sure, they effectively spurned a batch of lamentable emo bands, but at least they stop just short of histrionics and boast much more impressive guitarwork and songwriting chops than their counterparts. The Love Language's typically catchy work is reminiscent of Guided by Voices or the more accessible work from Elephant Six - low-fi vocals seemingly recorded on a Sears boombox matched with big, bouncy hooks. Bloomington band Early Day Miners have a full-length, The Treatment, due in September.