Cursive - Such Blinding Stars For Starving Eyes

by Nathan Fidler Rating:4 Release Date:2017-12-01
Cursive - Such Blinding Stars For Starving Eyes
Cursive - Such Blinding Stars For Starving Eyes

What can you really say about an album that is released as a remaster without anything new added? Sure, Cursive have taken their debut and presumably given it a bit of a shake up in places, but without listening to the original side-by-side with this, it really doesn’t amount to much for anyone who isn’t a die hard fan.

The 1997 debut Such Blinding Stars For Starving Eyes encapsulates Cursive in a nutshell - albeit a rather raw one. Part of the more genuine emo movement, they use delicate, gentle guitars to juxtapose the crashing riffs, all with slightly strangled, broken vocals to accompany them.

With Mike Mogis part of the original production team, it’s not surprising that Cursive would later sign to Saddle Creek. Tim Kasher’s driven vocal style isn’t all that different from Conor Oberst’s early work either, with Desaparecidos and easy comparison in hindsight.

‘After The Movies’ is the tumultuous opener and one of the more memorable tracks. For anyone coming at this genre afresh, it will seem fairly downtrodden and bleak, but that was the point of this music, speaking to a new generation of broody teens - it’s not meant to be fun or peppy. Tracks like ‘Ceilings Crack’ and ‘The Farewell Party’ also best display the early promise the band held at the time, with sweetly angular, distorted barrages.

The poor score given in this review is less about the music and more about the unnecessary rerelease of an non-essential album. There are no demos, live versions or even unreleased songs from this time - there is, apparently, a foreword, but does that really justify this rerelease?

Sure, it's the 20th anniversary of the album, but a better place to start, if you’re interested in Cursive, is Mama, I’m Swollen, The Ugly Organ (which was remastered with additional content, funnily enough) or their 2000 concept album Domestica.

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