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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Cursive
Domestica
Saddle Creek

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Two years in the wake of their head spinning Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song and their ensuing break up, Cursive are back wielding more of the same torturously brusque guitar and rhythm work that has become their trademark. Cursive's Domestica is both a sonic progression and a salient lyrical report on vocalist Tim Kasher's troubled personal life, the press sheet going so far as to announce his divorce.

The opening chords of "The Casualty" are idiosyncratically Cursive: a grinding resonating somewhere between Gang of Four and Slint, conterminously brutal and nimble. The addition of Lullaby For the Working Class' Ted Stevens on guitar and vocals blends seamlessly with the athletic, almost bone-shattering dynamics anchored by drummer Clint Schnase and bassist Matt Maginn. Operating on absurd timing, Brechtian guitar work and temperamental low end maneuvers, as a unit Cursive display a mastery of group agility, skirting the boundaries of everything from metal to pop music with their tuning, melodies and song structures. Their delivery, both fierce and restrained, is unparalleled in its intensity.

As much as it pains me to find a weakness in this album, for all the frightful seduction of the music, Kasher's vocal and lyrical repertoire is glaringly lacking this time out. Whereas Storms seemed to showcase his comfort and subsequent blossoming in his gruff Eric Bachmann-style vocal niche, Kasher spends far too much time fruitlessly exploring the higher end of his voice which, more often than not, comes of terribly awkward as on the struggling "A Red So Deep." The lyrics themselves are disappointingly shallow, turning away from the poetic lines of Such Starving Eyes and the almost literary scene setting of Storms in favor of running around in circles like a dog tied to a stake. The line "the night has fallen down the staircase" appears in both the opening and closing tracks, and a reference to a thrown phone pops up repeatedly. The words take only a slight turn toward the evocative pseudo-prose of Such Starving Eyes in "Shallow Means, Deep Ends," otherwise painting the same picture of violent domestic unrest with an almost embarrassing frequency.

Easily the most anticipated return since (ugh, oh no) Sunny Day Real Estate, Cursive's Domestica raises the stakes a bit higher in Cursive's quest for excellence, at least on a musical level, easily registering as one of the year's best to date. After their hammering affront loses its abrasive edge and works its way into your heart I suggest picking up their two earlier records, both comparatively musically underdeveloped but far more lyrically engaging. Taken together, the trio of full-lengths is a clear marker for one the most involved rock bands in memory.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth

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