Cursive – The Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song (1998)


I’m certain you’re familiar with Cursive; you’re probably not familiar with this album. And that’s a tragedy. Overshadowed by “masterpieces” like Domestica and The Ugly Organ, Storms has fallen uncomfortably under the radar. It was released after the band had broken up in ’98, before they got back together in ’99, going on to become kind of famous. It sounds undeniably Cursive-like (at least rather Domestica-like), with a comfortable amount of youthful exuberance, minus the concept and storyline. Instead young Kasher opted to write what is undeniably his wittiest lyrical achievement. In a winding narrative about semantics (go figure) and really subtle yet relatable aspects of everything mundane and crushingly important, Cursive lyrically mirror what’s going on musically. There’s a lot of really rough, crunchy hooks, it’s singable on the surface, and then you realize what you’re singing and give a dissatisfied smile.

The pop punk hooks hidden under a mixture of Fugazi and Cap’n Jazz fetish are so much stronger on this album than anything Cursive’s ever done after it. Everything meshes in a thick, loose jumble of punk rock nakedness and enthusiastic beauty. The guitars will oft break down into a fury of gorgeous dissonance. Kasher’s raw hybrid shouting/singing soars, rips through his larynx and straight to the heart. It’s the sound of growing up.

But I would be lying if this review weren’t a huge nostalgia trip. It reminds me of being 13 and sense of revolutionary aspirations chipping away and people I knew and loved chipping away with it in a low- class suburban slow cooker of cheap drugs and consumerism. It reminds me of kissing girls and summer and walking around without a care. It’s that kind of album It’s as much a living, breathing experience as it is music, as all good music is. Of course I can’t give that to you in a few mp3s. You’ve got to live and breathe with it, on your own.

-Brian S


2 Responses to “Cursive – The Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song (1998)”

  1. helsabot Says:

    i wholeheartedly concure!

  2. Great post on an old record. I like that this blog doesn’t just give attention to new releases, and also gives attention to bands that are, whether or not by design or misfortune, are underground and independent not just “indie rock”. I’m a long time cursive fan that keeps buying their new albums and only listening to their old albums. This is one I don’t own yet, I’ll definitely check it out.

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