Burst and Bloom
Author: Laura Learmonth
08/09/2001 | Seattle Weekly | Album Review
Fairy tales for Fugazi fans--powerful, provocative, and full of purpose. In the first two minutes of this disc, Cursive's Tim Kasher perfectly--and sardonically--steps out of himself to define his band's aesthetic ("They've got a D.C. sound/Shudder to Think, Fugazi/ and Chapel Hill in the early '90s") and breaks down the tactic behind releasing an EP ("building awareness for the next LP"). He then steps toward his very aware skin and sets up the rest of the recording: "Where melody is completely swallowed/where songwriters chain their songs to their ankles and/sink to the beat." For the remainder of the EP, Kasher keeps that promise. The Nebraskan pounds out his lyrical stories with an alternately passionate and pissed-off fervor, while his bandmates churn, bury, and resurrect their arrangements in a fluid, seamless motion. Add the lull of Gretta Cohn's cello, and the band's admittedly derivative echo becomes increasingly more interesting. Emo gets a lot of shit from a lot of people, but when the manifesto is as clearly stated and as supremely executed as it is here, there's little left to criticize.