Cursive’s new album is delightfully diverse rock

Melissa Dunson

Melissa Dunson

Melissa Dunson

And now for something completely different.

I know what you are all thinking: oh no, another screamo band. Wrong. In The Ugly Organ, Cursive has created a mature piece of melding genius, masterfully mixing classical string elements with cutting edge indie-rock emo-hardcore and the occasional classic rock element.

In a year that has musically just seen more of the same, Cursive is a breath of fresh air. The most welcome change of pace comes in the form of a cello played by Gretta Cohn. Cohn’s skillful plucking is largely responsible for the “fire in your bones” intensity the band achieves without excessive screaming or ear shredding guitars. Unlike the predictable scream, sing, scream rhythm of traditional screamo, this album follows more of a rising and falling sound led by frontman Tim Kasher’s raspy staccato vocals rather than driving guitars.

The songs average around less than two minutes, but so much is fit into so little time. One second they sound like The Cure, the next Fugazi or Red Animal War. The element of classic punk are unmistakable in the simple but rich layers.

Lyrically, Kasher is a purist minimalist who whole-heartedly admits to focusing more on the music as shown by his intricate and prolifent use of instrumental intros. The words he does choose are darkly satirical and political, focusing with disconcerting morbidity on what is wrong with our society. The songs are deeply personal to Kasher as well, drawing lyrics from his divorce and recuperation from a collapsed lung.

This album is cool enough to maintain your deep seeded belief that yes, you are hardcore, while feeling sophisticated and more like a grown up. But don’t make the mistake of assuming this album is for your parents. Cursive’s melodiously discordant caucaphony rocks harder than any Limp Bizkit/Linkin Park cookie cutter band in our CD player right now. These guys have it if anyone ever has.

The result is a tight (if too short) album that wets your appetite and leaves you wanting more, or at the very least, compels you to push play again. Pick up this album if you want something different and a little more mature, while still giving your speakers a work-out.