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Curve


Country of origin:

England

Type of music generally:

Crunchy shoegazer alternative rock with ethereal vocals

Status:

Most recent release, The Way of Curve (remasters, 2004)

See also:

Curve's site

Cuckoo's Nest: The Curve Archive

Comparisons:

Other shoegazer bands; they are the clear precursors of Garbage, Ruby, and similar bands

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

Urgent but beautiful ethereal vocals poised against driving, crunchy guitars. (Neile)

I also really like Curve (at least I love the Doppelgänger album, and like Cuckoo, though I didn't much care for the latest one), but their songs seem a lot tighter than Cranes or Cocteau Twins or Lush. I think I like the Curve/Cranes end of the dreampop spectrum a lot better than the Lush/Cocteau Twins end, because they have a harder sound. Not just a more pronounced beat, but harsher music—more dissonant musically and more aggressive instrumental sounds, not as flowy and pretty. Does this make sense? I find Cranes' and Curve's music hypnotic, but definitely not soporific. (jwermont@sonic.net)

CURVE by the way, was a big commercial success, but the british press really railed on them because they seemed to be riding the wave of success of both the whole baggy MADCHESTER scene and the SHOEGAZING scene as well. they were able to blend both aspects perfectly into a digestable pop sound. (iflin@speakeasy.net)

Recommended first album:

Cuckoo

Recordings:

  • Doppelgänger (1992)
  • Cuckoo (1993)
  • Come Clean (1998)
  • The Way of Curve (remasters, 2004)

Cuckoo

Release info:

1993—Anxious Records/Charisma Records—7243 8 39061 2 3

Availability:

Wide on release

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for fans of loud rock

Group members:

Toni Halliday, Dean Garcia

Guest artists:

Sally Herbert—violin on 2 tracks
Monti—drums on 3 tracks

Produced by:

Curve and Flood (7 tracks) and Curve and Steve Osborne (3 tracks)

Comments:

Despite some nice hooks, there's a certain sameness to the early tracks of this album, but it's hard to complain about that distinctive sound: the vocals foregrounded over heavy rock guitar. The later tracks seem to have a little more variety. Stand-outs are the slightly Indian-flavoured "All of One", the softer-sounding "Left of Mother", and the title and final track, "Cuckoo" which feels like probably the quintessential Curve track with its driving guitar and dreamy, whispery vocals. A band of interest to anyone who likes the contrast of crunch and ethereal vocals. (Neile)

A key dreampop album. (afinney@ozonline.com.au)

layers and layers and layers. need i say more? (bighat@camelot.bradley.edu)

listening to this even as i type. gotta agree that it's a massive step up (or at least orthogonal) from doppelgänger which i consider a good thing. again, i've not really listened to it as much as i should have before pronouncing judgement...but i'm glad to hear that they're moving on instead of repeating the blindfold ep yet again (the tremelo on "sweetest pie" is great!). (woj@smoe.org)

Curve go even louder, more densely layered and threatening, write brilliant songs, create sonic mayhem upon which Toni Halliday can lay out her canvas of emotions and fears. Almost scary, this record. It's also great when you're in a bad mood... :) (ahoran)


Come Clean

Release info:

1998

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended for Curve fans

Group members:

Dean Garci—bass, drums, guitar, programming
Toni Halliday—vocals

Guest artists:

Sally Herbert—violin
Alan Moulde—guitar
Oskar Paul—Moog synthesizer
Jason Welch —drums

Produced by:

Curve, Steve Osborne, Tim Simenon

Comments:

Obviously grown leaner and meaner while watching Garbage rise to the top on their patented formula, Curve returned with an album which half-fulfilled expectations, yet for the other half utterly failed them. It doesn't make sense that they would mix brilliant songs (which, even more than Garbage, demonstrated the potential of fusing dance with rock) as "Chinese Burn", "Coming Up Roses", "Alligators Getting Up" and "Recovery", with such dull, uninviting and sometimes painful fare as most of the rest, especially the horrible title track. One of my disappointments of the year. (afinney@ozonline.com.au)

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Artists commented on by
woj @ smoe.org

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