Sunday, November 22, 2009

71. “Some Red Handed Sleight Of Hand” by Cursive (2003)

Tim Kasher’s projects (Cursive, The Good Life) would hardly be possible without THAT VOICE. And as a fan of Minor Threat, old school Fugazi and Kasher, it’s hard not to listen to Cursive without thinking of Fugazi. And I mean that in a good way. I have often said that Kasher’s voice is the exact middle ground between Robert Smith of The Cure and Ian McKaye. In the end, it makes much of Kasher’s stuff very compelling and awesome.

Kasher released a handful of very good albums this past decade, both by Cursive and the Good Life and there were several tracks from both bands that could have been included here, but in the end I knew I would have to go back to Cursive’s 2003 classic “The Ugly Organ”, Kasher’s take on his own self-deprecating statement about his own art and how it is created, as if the things in his life that make their way into his songs exist for the art, and not the other way around. It’s a great album that fits into that “post-hardcore” genre very nicely.

Check out another great tune from this album here.

One of the things that music critic seem to constantly ignore is the power of the voice that is singing the song. How many songs, how many BANDS, exist because they have captivating singers. I am not talking about Beyonce and Mariah. I am talking about rock groups that build a basic sound around a unique vocal delivery. The National comes to mind. People either seem to love or hate Neil Young because of his voice. Imagine if Neil Diamond sang the Neil Young classics – it’d completely change the audience, even if the songs themselves were the same. There are many extreme examples like this, but the truth is that the vocals are the number one thing that draws most people to a song. You might not love Eddie Van Halen’s guitar style, but if you hate Sammy Hagar, you will be forced to disown Halen and profess allegiance to only Diamond Dave-era Halen. You might also be forced to drive 55, which is not something I will promote here at TAGTOE.

Point being that Kasher’s voice perfectly fits his Cursive and Good Life sounds perfectly. Neither could exist without that delivery.

Listen here.

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