Saturday, 2 September 2017

Curve ‎Cuckoo


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The duo of Toni Halliday and Dean Garcia (with help from three others) gave us the refinement of the deeds they started before. This 1993 release garnered them the press and acclaim they deserved, and although it would be five years before their next release, they left the masses with a lasting impression. The lead-off "Missing Link" burns by with the loudest number they had done up to that point. Using the loudness as a driving force instead of an accompanying factor, it's a refreshing blast of energy. An illustration of the opposite end of the noise spectrum is "Left of Mother" with its acoustic base and Halliday's airy vocals spilling into the tracks. "Unreadable Communication" showcases a different train of thought with its electronic intro and main body, only heightened with moments of the Curve grind. These are the extremes, and Cuckoo is the crystallization of previous works. Following the blitz of "Missing Link," "Crystal" finds the band back in the mode of power through coloring and groove. The color of noise is used splendidly in the chorus, adding to the tone of the lyrics. "All Of One" leads off with Halliday's floating lyrics before plunging into a guitar driven choruses. Additional flourishes of guitar throughout add depth and teeth to the composition. The "Curve style" is used to great effect in "Turkey Crossing" with its simple bass groove and ultra-dirty guitar phrases accompanied by Halliday's seductive vocal. Lyrics like "I'm finished with you/please be finished with me" are only embellished by layered guitars adding musical weight to the lines. Flood's prowess at the board only helps "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" pound a groove into your head, only to have the salt of dirty guitar added into your wound. It's grind and melody join two things that at times seem to be in conflict, just like the objects of the title. Curve was one of the top purveyors of "shoe-gazing" pop, and Cuckoo demonstrates why. This is an essential album to the genre.

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