Half Notes: Cursive – I Am Gemini (2012)

Anchored by the longtime trio of vocalist/guitarist Tim Kasher, bassist Matt Maginn and guitarist/vocalist Ted Stevens, Cursive’s latest long player is a bit of surprise — a Big Idea Project. While the emo-punk band has always explored its share of thorny issues (religion, narcissism, drowning in hell’s flames), here they drill in on a song cycle involving twin brothers separated at birth. Cassius and Pollock end up representing the duality found in all of us, both good and evil. There follows, of course, the inevitable showdown, a mythical struggle for their very soul. How it all turns out, of course, is something best left to the listening. Safe to say, though, that I Am Gemini — due on February 21 via Saddle Creek — will expand an already interesting legacy that stretches back to 2000′s Domestica and 2003′s The Ugly Organ (from the first, it seemed, Cursive had a knack for combining head-banging and country-informed twanging) then forward into 2009′s Mama, I’m Swollen (where we got our first inklings of these more complex story-rock aspirations). Recording with producer Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Isis), Cursive’s lineup is completed by keyboardist Patrick Newbery and drummer Cully Symington.

‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

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Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.

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