BioCursive formed in Omaha in 1995 when Tim Kasher (vocals, guitar), Matt Maginn (bass, vocals), and Steve Pedersen (guitar, vocals), who had been playing together for years in other bands, asked Clint Schnase to join them on drums.
They released their first four songs on a 7” entitled 'The Disruption' (Saddle Creek). The band then spent the following year preparing their debut album, Such Blinding Stars for Starving Eyes (Crank!). In the meantime, Cursive released their second 7”, 'Sucker and Dry' (Zero Hour).
The 1997 release of Blinding Stars was an instant hit with its intense and exemplary songwriting. It was a perfect addition to the hype surrounding each and every Crank! Release at that time. Cursive complemented the record with an extensive amount of touring and two more vinyl releases: 'The Icebreaker' 7” (Saddle Creek) and a split 10” with Austin, TX’s Silver Scooter (Crank!) for the now legendary 'Crank! Records Split' 10” Series.
The following year was spent touring and working on songs for what would become the sophomore full-length from Cursive, The Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song (Saddle Creek – 1998). Shortly after the songs were recorded and before the album was released, Steve was accepted to law school and found himself in North Carolina. Tim decided that this was his opportunity to work on new projects and simultaneously moved to Portland. Cursive was disbanded on the brink of releasing their second full-length release.
About a year went by before Tim re-evaluated his move and came back to Omaha in hopes of getting Cursive back in the swing of things. Without Steve on guitar, the guys recruited longtime friend Ted Stevens (Lullaby for the Working Class, Mayday) to pick up the additional guitar and vocal duties. With new life injected into the band, Cursive buckled down and recorded nine songs for their third full-length release Cursive’s Domestica (Saddle Creek - 2000). With the addition of Ted on guitar and vocals, and backed by one of the tightest rhythm sections in indie-rock, Cursive was better than ever and made one killer record to prove it. With a trumped up sense of texture and dynamics and its tales of domestic relationships and breakups, the band had finally lived up to their potential and Domestica was their most well-received record to date.
Domestica was met with critical acclaim and the newly reborn Cursive found themselves on the road again. Over the next year they would share the stage with such like-minded bands as Dismemberment Plan, At the Drive-In, Murder City Devils, The Faint, and Planes Mistaken for Stars.
Cursive's combination of melody and technical madness continued and met up with a cello on 'Burst and Bloom' (Saddle Creek - 2001), a five song EP that not only reflected the usual intensity and also introduced a new aspect (and member) of the band. With her cello skills and sense of melody, Gretta Cohn is an amazing complement to the frenetic intensity at the core of the band’s sound. As Ted's songwriting and vocal presence continued alongside Matt and Clint's roaring rhythm section, Tim began creating a more self-analytical style of song for the group. With references to 'marketing schemes' and the 'DC sound' of the band, the ever self-aware Cursive used the EP to give insight to where the band is coming from and to set the stage for where they are headed.
The year following the release of 'Burst and Bloom' saw even more touring and the band's first trip to Europe. The band also released a split CD , 8 Teeth To Eat You (Better Looking Records), with Japan’s Eastern Youth, which was supposed to be followed by another tour of the US and the band’s first trip to Japan. Three days into the US portion of the tour, Tim suffered a collapsed lung and spent the next two weeks in a hospital bed in Utah. One major surgery and a couple of months of recovery time later and Tim was back in the studio to record Cursive's upcoming record, The Ugly Organ (Saddle Creek – March 4, 2003).
With the most dynamic instrumentation in Cursive's history, The Ugly Organ stands as the band's most commanding performance. Somewhere between a calmly calculated conceptual album and a tongue in cheek conceptual satire, the band delivers a fearsome and lavish diatribe. Wild dissonant organ playing, tearing and beautiful cello lines, thundering rhythms and disjointed guitar lines align together in a symbiotic relationship between the instruments. The result is some of the loudest yet smoothest, most melodic moments we have yet to hear from the band. Metaphorical and full of self-reference, Tim's confessional lyrical style weaves storybook sensibility around his inventive narrative. All totaled, The Ugly Organ finds Cursive reaching its peak yet again.
Welcome to the world of rock's most uncompromising band.
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