Reviews

Lovers Need Layers

Author: Chris Estey
06/17/2004 | Bandoppler | www.bandoppler.com | Album Review
The Good Life is the rock-oriented guitar-based side project of Tim Kasher, the primary songwriter and frontman for Cursive, a band that beautifully mixes macabre self-mockery with lyrical scandal, obsessive ontology with obnoxious sarcasm.  The Good Life is 'lighter-sounding' at first, but further listens reveals that Kasher is still on the boiler plate of anxiety about his role as a writer and the mixed blessings of being observed and/or accepted by an audience.

The good news about the Good Life is that the EP is a wonderful chunk of energetic songwriting regardless of its depressive depths.  This is best shown on "Entertainer," its hilarious lyrics performed with wonderful slack and spite, tune bouncy and worthy of an ironic chant.  You want to sing along and feel like a twit for doing so, since he might be calling you one.  It should be mandatory listening for all aspiring rock scribes who want to place the hunchback on the pedestal, as Leonard Cohen put it -- for projected worship or stone-throwing.

This EP sounds so debased in its cynicism after a while that I couldn't recommend it enough -- despite the accessible rock song craft, the overflow induces an almost late 70s Pink Floyd catharsis, and may have been intended that way at least for Kasher himself. The opener "Leaving Omaha" could tell that story about how we always want to be somewhere other than where we are, and then when we are, we want to return so badly. It's simple but we've all done just that, and it's a circle of pain we tend to repeat, building rings of restlessness and failure into personal histories.

The title track and "Always A Bridesmaid" lovingly knead the breasts of our sweet memories of certain ubiquitous psychedelic-pop bands, and then slices off their nipples with pointed lyrical stabs at marriage and romance.  "Friction!" rocks out harder and more obviously than the more melodic elements that came before, but without any attempt to resolve anything emotionally (what do you expect?).

Oh, yeah, I guess that I need to give you more of a specific contemporary musical comparison, far be it from me not to inform whilst I entertain -- okay, it's like the Shins' last album, but not as OCD in production or intricately veiled in the lyrics, though Kasher told me in an interview that he hadn't heard Chutes Too Narrow yet.  And while Chutes never really tried to give anyone hope (though it supplied plenty of intelligent if emotionally distant friendship), Kasher has to snottily shake blood from his lips at you at the end of the record, with the probably phony "For The Love Of The Song."  For some reason, I find it refreshing.
Lovers Need Layers

Lovers Need Layers

CD / 10" / MP3




Releases

All »

Help Wanted Nights

Help Wanted Nights

LP / CD / MP3


Album of the Year

Album of the Year

LP / CD / Deluxe CD / MP3


Merch

All »

Corn Poster

poster


Rainbow

apparel