Review: Cursive / Eastern Youth

Cursive / Eastern Youth
“Split EP”
(Better Looking Records / Five One, Inc.)

Cursive:  I saw this band on the last Plea For Peace tour.  They thoroughly captivated me.  A be-speckled band geek drop-out of a girl played the Chello and held the center of the stage, sitting upon a stool and carving maniaclly at her Chello.  That was different.  So now that I have a clue, I grab anything Cursive related.  On this split, 4 songs from each band.  The Cursive songs all have that ‘Chello-as-an-element’.  While some bands have worked dramatic strings into songs for effect, Cursive use the Chello as a legitmate part of their unit.  So songs have this drawn out, emotive drawl to the passages due to the instruments smooth, lulling delivery.  Now mix that with the generally jagged and edgier constructions the band puts songs together with, and it creates a nice dichotomy of soft and smooth against sharp and disjointed.  Pleadingly whispered and yelped vocals also give texture to the fragmented structures that are again being sewn together by that flowing chello sound.  Add in some risk taking on the production that gives a varied sonic approach to different songs, and you get the highly original and creative Cursive.

Eastern Youth:  Are just that.  Very eastern.  All the lyrics are in… some other Asian language.  The music, is smiley pop-laced indie rock.  Kind of like if Hey Mercedes or Action Slacks came from Tokyo but weren’t as original or deep and much happier.  Maybe they are deep.  How the hell am I to know?  I have no idea what they are signing about.  But they seem pretty happy and know how to throw in some peppy indie rock guitars.  If you just can’t find enough happy pop indie rock with English singers, well, you just aren’t looking hard enough.