Cursive - The Ugly Organ
3 1/2 (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Mar. 7, 2003
Review by Tony BonyataNo, its not the Ray Manzarek-Morey Amsterdam Project. Although, with an album filled with the odd strains of cello and dated organ, one might get the impression that the Omaha, Nebraska quintet Cursive might have had these two unlikelys in mind when they got together for their third full-length release, The Ugly Organ.
But as this quirky and often explosive outfit prove, they've also tapped into an exciting new sound in alternative rock, mixing the powerfully strained vocals of bands such as At The Drive-In with a wealth of musical dynamics that runs from crude and crass to beautifully eerie and thought-provoking. The rhythms are often disjointed but always lurking like a cat on the prey - ready to pounce, while the guitars howl and stomp throughout.
Ted Stevens adds a stabbing angular guitar line to the shadow-behind-the-shower-curtain cello strains on "Harold Weathervein," before the song fades out in a vapor trail with a creepy Carnival of Souls-like organ. Stevens along with vocalist / guitarist Tim Kasher then proceed to chisel out some big, dumb, yet undeniably lovable, chords on "Butcher the Song." The attacking rhythms laid down by bassist Matt Maginn and drummer Clint Schnase on songs such as "Some Red Handed Slight of Hand" and "Staying Alive" make for a firm foundation for Kasher's maniacal vocal rantings to leap about from like a crazed chimp.
Crude, obstreperous, sonically dissonant and oddly captivating... hey, these guys might actually be onto something.
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