I Am Gemini
Feb 22, 2012 Web Exclusive
I Am Gemini finds Cursive rediscovering both the fractured riffing of their earliest albums and the grand conceptual bent of albums such as The Ugly Organ, bolstered by the big, heavy production talents of Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Isis, The Sword) and the big, heavy thematic inclinations of frontman Tim Kasher, who whipped up a little two-act play for the occasion. It's your basic tale of good and evil brothers separated at birth and reuniting violently—you know, the dual sign of the Gemini, the fusion of opposites—wait, no spoilers.
Back to that heavy production. Enlisting Bayles made perfect sense here, as it's the band's musically heaviest effort in quite awhile, and the riff-heavy passages sound fantastic. So do the more nuanced moments, for that matter (and listening, it's anyone's guess which is around each corner, as this is essentially a rock opera following Kasher's story). The arrangement instrument of choice this time (think back to those cello and horn section days) is keyboard/piano, along with several layers of guitar, and Bayles granted it all a bigger-than-life sonic signature, not to mention showing up with a handful of production tricks to help tell the story.
All the songs also serve that story. "Warmer Warmer" opens with a spastic swing reminiscent of "Art is Hard" from The Ugly Organ, and crumbles to a creepy spoken passage before fizzling. "The Sun and Moon" somehow gets away with having a massive pop hook and serving up lyrics like "Who was there when you dined with Dionysus." The bombastic organ-laced prog of "Gemini" precedes the curtain falling before Act II. The second act's finest tune? "The Cat and Mouse," again with that trademark Cursive swing in effect, and a monster chorus/climax of "Kill the demon/Kill your doppelganger." It's heady, it's heavy, and it's classic Cursive, now in twin territory. (www.cursivearmy.com)
Author rating: 6/10
Average reader rating: 9/10
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