Cursive

Friday

SXSW Records

Cursive

Mama, I'm Swollen (Saddle Creek)

When Omaha's Cursive released 2003 post-hardcore gem The Ugly Organ, a million emo kids agreed, "Art is hard!" Without cellist Gretta Cohn and after 14 years onstage, however, penman Tim Kasher has matured. Cursive's seventh LP, Mama, I'm Swollen, is just as transgressive as it is familiar. Kasher's voice still breaks in the right places, but sing-alongs are replaced by dissonance, and the angst has subsided, allowing for retrospection. Opener "In the Now" is immediate, thrashing into the gallop of "From the Hips." Flute lends bouncy highlight "I Couldn't Love You" uneasiness, and "Caveman" doubles down with whiskey-soaked admission. While not without pratfalls ("Donkeys," "We're Going to Hell"), Mama frames Kasher's newfound confidence, exemplified in intimate (and sometimes corny) closer "What Have I Done?" ("I spent the best years of my life waiting on the best years of my life"). Everyone grows up eventually. (Fri., Radio Room, 1am.)

***

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