Saddle Creek | Cursive | Reviews


Mama, I'm Swollen

07/25/2009 | Eastern Iowa Gazette | | Live Show Preview
Cursive isn't just a fancy way to write. It's also an indie rock band out of Omaha that writes a poetic script set against a flourish of complex instrumental layers.

The band's fifth disc, "Mama, I'm Swollen," was released March 10 on the hometown Saddle Creek label. It's an exciting endeavor, from the opening rapid-fire reverb of "In the Now" that melts seamlessly into a dreamy, spare "From the Hips," where the lyrics grab the spotlight.

A touch of Peter Pan syndrome weaves through "Donkeys," as the lyrics shrug off adult responsibilities for another day on Pleasure Island. (Maybe that should be a Pinocchio syndrome?)
Frontman Tim Kasher runs the gamut of emotions and musical styles on the disc, casting out demons in "Mama, I'm Satan," shrugging off high society in "Caveman," turning ominous in "Let Me Up," accusatory in "Mama, I'm Swollen" and ending up reflective on "What Have I Done?"

What the band has done is craft a fine CD of social commentary, wrapped in angst, philosophical musings and punk-edged instrumentals flavored with pop licks, hints of speed metal, psychedelics and moments of sheer beauty.

It's easy to hear how this band in various incarnations since 1995 counts Dinosaur Jr., Iron Maiden and Paul Simon among its influences.

Catch the band in action in an all-ages show Saturday at the Picador, 330 E. Washington St., Iowa City. Doors open at 6 p.m., music starts at

6:30 p.m. with The Love Language and Birth Rites. Tickets are $15, available in advance at

Mama, I'm Swollen

Mama, I'm Swollen

LP / CD / MP3