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Cursive – The Difference Between Houses and Homes (Lost Songs and Loose Ends 1995 – 2001)

Cursive - Houses and Homes

The story of Cursive began ten years ago in 1995 when four friends who had been playing together for years decided to make a go of it on their own. Several albums, successes, break ups and reunions have all taken place in the ensuing years. Now they are releasing The Difference Between Houses and Homes (Lost Songs and Loose Ends 1995 – 2001). It’s a long title, but it has been a long time.

…Loose Ends contains a couple of previously unreleased tracks as well as some of the harder to find songs that were put out on 7-inchs. Fans of Cursive should enjoy this tour through the history of the band. Since most of the tracks are deep cuts, there should be plenty of songs that are new to the listener. It’s better than a typical best of album, because it’s not just a mix-tape of all the songs you already know. If you’re not familiar with Cursive, then I suppose it’s all new to you.

The album begins with “Dispenser,” which is one of the two unreleased tracks. Recorded in 1995, this is the oldest song on the album. It starts off with speedy guitars, heavy on the reverb, and puts me right back in the middle of high school (that reminds me, my ten-year reunion must be coming up). Front man Tim Kasher displays his trademark high-pitched yowl that has served him so well. Operatic it is not.

Most of the songs fall in the years of ’96 to ’98, which is when the 7-inchs The Disruption, The Icebreaker, and Zero Hour were released. You get to see the band evolve over the years as the songs range from darker to darkest. However, that’s what we’ve come to expect from Cursive: rock, not wine-and-cheese party music.

The only song featuring the current line up is 2001’s “Nostalgia.” Low and behold, they’ve added a cellist, Gretta Cohn. This is where you really get to hear the growth of the band. The song is still angst-filled rock, but with a more complex sound. I think adding a cello will do that for any song, however.

So Cursive disciples head out and get your fix, but you can also check it out if you want to see the precursors to the heavier, darker music of today.


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