Saddle Creek | Cursive | Reviews



Author: Catherine Chambers
07/02/2003 | KKKK | Live Show Preview
Nebraskan post-hardcore veterans bring their genre-splicing sonic assault to the capital.

There's a palpable feeling in the air tonight not just of anticipation and excitement, but one of overwhelming respect. Stalwarts of the post-hardcore scene, Cursive have long since paid their dues. As their latest album 'The Ugly Organ' ably demonstrates, the Nebraskan five-piece can teach their contemporaries a thing or two about boundary-pushing musicianship. And while homegrown boys Medium 21 make a commendable effort of warming the crowd up, their likeable if slightly derivative repertoire merely serves to illustrate the fact that tonight's headliners are in a league of their own.
On record Cursive deals in terrifying levels of caustic brilliance helmed by freaky-time signatures and convulsive rhythmic twists, but nothing can prepare you for the thrill of their live shows, an experience that brings new meaning to the epithet 'deranged genius'. Tonight they take their sonic dementia to a new level, cellist Gretta Cohn attacking her instrument with feverish intensity as vocalist Tim Kasher embarks on a cathartic mission to rid himself of untold inner demons.
Admittedly, there are times when they veer dangerously close to self-indulgence but Cursive pull it off in a way that precious few can, and tonight's crowd simply stand and gaze in awe. Respect and then some.