Saddle Creek | Cursive | Reviews


I Am Gemini

Author: Kevin Kaber
02/10/2012 | UWM Post | | Record Review
Midwest post-hardcore outfit Cursive had decent sized shoes to fill after their 2009 album, Mama, I'm Swollen (perhaps the largest shoes they would ever have to fill). The band that has all but become Taking Back Sunday has now released its seventh studio album, I Am Gemini a concept album that lacks effort like upperclassmen with senioritis.

Without doing any homework on Cursive's latest, one will step into its first track, "This House Alive," and quickly forget about it. It tries so hard to portray a matured band (which it does accomplish if you look all the way back to the Cursive's mid-to-late '90s actual post-hardcore, emo-laden works, which parallel the genre's mythical figure, Sunny Day Real Estate) by means of an expansive set of instruments and sounds granting the wide-shot introduction of the rest of the album.

But, by looking closer at the lyrics (which can be painstakingly difficult as similar bands try so hard to induce emotional feelings that their song's ambiguous wordings typically leave listeners to have ambiguously emotional reactions or no reactions at all; not everyone can be a poet) we'll find a bit of a story in a set of twins, one of which is obviously bad judging by each monologue's accompaniment by heavy rock stylings, the other, good by default.

The two twin brothers have been long lost and are now reuniting, violence and benevolence occurring here and there. This 'meh' story is likely a culmination of lead singer and songwriter Tim Kasher's desire to "immortalize" in his own discography the Greek mythological tale of Gemini (hence the album's name), in which the polar twins Castor and Pollux (hence Kasher's twins here are named Cassius and Pollock) do evil and benevolent things, respectively. Kasher makes no attempt to hide this fact, as oftentimes chants of "I am Gemini!" occur throughout the album.

Despite the story's overdone nature and predictable outcome, Kasher's bored presence on the album over a bland version of '80s glam and pop-rock guitar style and heavy drums is not enough to keep interest in the album. In the past, Cursive has done a great job with concept albums (Domestica and The Ugly Organ both feel original and well done), but I am Gemini seriously lacks the band's tried and true methodology and replaces it with Greek mythological name-dropping.
I Am Gemini

I Am Gemini

LP / CD / MP3