Reviews

I Am Gemini

Author: Jen Zoratti
08/02/2012 | Uptownmag.com | www.uptownmag.com | Live Show Preview
Cursive has never been a band to shy away from lofty concept albums but the Omaha, Neb.-based indie-rock outfit's seventh studio album, I Am Gemini, might be its most ambitious yet.

The record, which was released in February via Saddle Creek, tells the story of Cassius and Pollock, twin brothers (one good, one evil) separated at birth, and their unexpected reunion. Frontman Tim Kasher wrote it as a linear story; tracks 1 through 13 listen like chapters in a novel. (In fact, it's worth it to spend some quality time with the liner notes.)

A complex, heady narrative needs equally complex, heady musical accompaniment, which is where the rest of Cursive Ted Stevens (guitar), Matt Maginn (bass) and Cully Symington (drums, percussion) comes in.

"Tim sketched out the story and the songs and brought them to practice, and we nailed them out," explains Stevens, on the line from his home in Omaha. "We knew it was heading towards a big concept record, so we were prepared for that. We wanted to make it a little heavier and tonally change the way we approached it. More gain, heavier rock sounds."

Indeed, the dense, atmospheric soundscapes on I Am Gemini boast monolithic bass and massive guitars, making for a powerful, poignant whole. And the songs sound like they're a blast to play live, particularly for a guitarist.

"They are," Stevens agrees. "We're really enjoying being in that place in the tour where the songs are still fresh and fun to play. They're still challenging for me (laughs)."

Challenging is the perfect word to describe I Am Gemini lyrically and sonically. It's a difficult, dramatic album, but it boasts a high return on investment.

"I think we did what we set out to do," Stevens says of the record. "Well, not exactly, but close enough. There's always that last 10% you leave up to chance but it always has a way of working out."
I Am Gemini

I Am Gemini

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