Mama, I'm Swollen
Author: Geoff Anstey
This may be unknown to most people, but a long time ago, in the distant early 90's, Emo was a respectable genre. It wasn't the pathetic teenage angst wallowing that it became in the 2000's, but rather the more melodic and, well, emotional offshoot of 80's hardcore, spearheaded by bands such as the mighty Fugazi. It was from this primordial Emo-sludge that Cursive came, and from it evolved into something unique. Embracing the fractured stylings of post-hardcore while maintaining the focus on indie songwriting, Cursive became one of the first bands to bridge the two genres and by 2000 successfully melded them in their breakout LP Domestica. Afterwards the band continued to push their sound, adding strings, horns, and on their 2006 effort Happy Hallow, a full brass section. Their recent release Mama, I'm Swollen, shows a dramatic change in the band's sound, mostly from the departure of long time drummer Clint Schnase. The band has gotten a bit mellower, and without Schnase's presence the math-rock aspects of the Cursive sound have diminished—so expect a lot more 4/4 timing in the band's new material. Though the band is little tamer, front man Tim Kasher still has his bite—so don't be surprised if a softer song (softer of course being relative to their hardcore roots) has some of the frantic outbursts that have been a part of the band since its inception. Cursive fans should be lining up for this, while Fugazi fanatics should definitely give this band a try if they haven't already. The Love Language opens the show on Friday (July 31).