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Cursive
The Difference Between Houses And Homes (Lost Songs And Loose Ends 1995 - 2001)
Saddle Creek Records
www.saddle-creek.com


So I have to admit that I had never heard a Cursive album before, but they have been recommended to me time and time again. It was only a matter of funds that I had not previously gone out to find a recording by them. But then I get this CD and I am like, "Cool, now I get to hear what they sound like", and then I realize this is a retrospective covering many years of the bands' evolution, and I am like, "Double cool, I can figure out if I like one area of the bands existence over the others." Gotta love those B-Sides and rarities albums because they bring you a completely different level of the band they cover. Normally the songs that make it to these albums are like the bastard children of the bands material, good enough to get recorded but not quite good enough to make it onto a full-fledged album. So of course I was willing to take this compilation with a grain of salt as I judged the merit of this band.

But as it turns out: no grain of salt necessary. This band just rocks! If these are the bastard children of their material I can't wait to get my hands on their official albums. Perhaps why they appeal to me so much is because they sound a lot like Jawbreaker, one of my top 50 bands of all time. Post-punk rock and roll never sounded better with half screamed, half sung vocals that hit the mark with killer hooks and empathy. Guitars crunch along, discordant at one moment and melded into a perfect driving mechanism providing the harrumph necessary to carry the material. Bass and drums are inspired but limited to their own breakout parts; the bass rolls nicely through "Polar" and the drums show gusto on "Dispenser".

Production does an amazing job of maintaining a fine line common to post-punk recordings, namely leaving it dirty enough to show the grit without sacrificing drive and feel. Moreover, it was almost like they planned on making this album way back when, as it is very surprising to me that each song was recorded at least a year apart from the song that follows it. They only holes in uniformity across this record are "Nostalgia" which sounds different due to a different line-up and "I Thought There'd Be More Than This" which was recorded in a motel. Overall, this is just excellent production from the get-go that was maintained across this bands existence.

Every song on this record is completely worth it, and it proves to be a very beautiful retrospective for this band. This is completely necessary for any fan of the band, and a must have for anyone considering the band in the first place, like me. Needless to say, I am impressed and would recommend this album to anyone, period. Now if you will excuse me, I have to redistribute some funds so that I can begin to pick up the rest of this bands material.

-bishop

Track Listing:
1. Dispenser
2. Pivotal
3. Sucker & Dry
4. Icebreakers
5. And The Bit Just Chokes Them
6. There's A Coldest Day In Every Year
7. A Disruption In The Normal Swing Of Things
8. Nostalgia
9. The Knowledgeable Hasbeens
10. Polar
11. A Disruption In Our Lines Of Influence
12. I Thought There'd Be More Than This


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Mike Doughty



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