Saddle Creek | Cursive | Reviews


I Am Gemini

Author: Elliott Bueler
02/10/2012 | Daily Utah Chronicle | | Live Show Preview
Age and experience haven't yet claimed Cursive's ambition. The formative indie rock band is now in its 16th year of existence. Where years of touring might weaken other outfits, guitarist Ted Stevens said he and the band have actually been looking forward to their 50-date national tour that begins Sunday.

"I'm anxious to get back on the road, see the country, see old friends, play every night," he said. "It's always a really good physical and mental bang, a lot of fun."

Soon after its tour, the band will release a seventh full-length album brimming with new vision.

A stop at Salt Lake City's Urban Lounge on Tuesday will give audiences a live taste of Cursive's I am Gemini before its Feb. 21 release.

With a growing discography from which to build this tour's set list, including acclaimed releases Domestica, The Ugly Organ and Mama, I'm Swollen, Stevens said more work has to go into preparation.

"We're just really focused right now to learn as many songs as we can and to put a new twist on some of the old ones and kind of re-create some of the newer stuff off the album," he said. "We feel really focused and just really serious about learning and perfecting our stage show right now."

Still though, even excitement and focus can't reverse the miles. Since their 1995 formation, Cursive have been a touring force, both domestically and internationally. Putting so much effort into their unrelenting live show, which has consistently garnered the four-piece rave reviews for their energy and execution, has taken a toll on the band.

"I miss being a little more resilient," Stevens said of the years spent touring. "Taking on the road full force I feel like I have to drink more water, get more sleep, get more exercise."

Themes of retrospective maturation have consistently cropped up, marking the band's progression. Woven through strands of disappointment and discord, Tim Kasher sang, "I spent the best years of my life waiting on the best years of my life, so what's there to write about?" on 2009's Mama, I'm Swollen, where before he might have sang, "Sad little boy, I know you get confused, but everyone goes through these trials of self-truth and self-abuse," on 2000's tour de force Domestica.

I am Gemini sees the band taking more of a lateral move. Virtually everything about the album marks a first for the band. It's the first album Kasher wrote in a completely linear fashion from songs one to 13 just as they appear on the record. It's also the first time the band worked with producer Matt Bayles, who Stevens said had a significant effect on the process.

"We took a more modular approach to songwriting, mentally inserting parts here and there till they worked," he said.

The result is a stirring release rife with haunting narrative. The process should excite and energize the Feb. 14 audience just as it did the band during recording.

"It was a really fresh approach all around," Stevens said.

You hear that? Fresh. The ambition's still there.
I Am Gemini

I Am Gemini

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