Tuesday, February 19, 2013

FAMILY CURSE - Twilight Language

1-2-Hex on you. Cross your fingers, throw salt, knock wood, say a little prayer, run like hell. You cannot escape the Curse. You cannot escape your blood. Family Curse.

Hypnotic art-punk. Psychedelic without being "psych." Throbbing rhythms. Can a melody be "brutal"? Doom Pop at its finest. Songs about decay, the Old World, war, disease, love and murder. Family Curse leave the beachheads in the sun, content to bask in their own mundane existence. Family Curse believes in the power of the song, that there is still meaning and worth left in metaphor, melody, and message. Family Curse places their trust in the intrinsic mystery of the unseen world. In the shadows, that is where the quest for answers must begin.

Twilight Language concerns itself with the breakdown of modern communication via a glimpse at a world that on the surface seems far removed from our own, part of a distant past, but in fact was merely only a century ago. Or is it now? Time bends back upon itself.

The motorik punk of "No Return" opens the album by heading towards the white light. Is it a train? Or the end as beginning? "Julia Armant" is revived from the debut single, here treated with hand-claps and even more of a resonating ache. "Truth Will Out" is avant-hardcore at its finest; two minutes of frantic flail, singer Erick Bradshaw H excoriating his demons and guitars radiating all manner of face-melting noises. "Arcane Radio" is a dance hit from an alternate past, one filled with imagination and adventure. It ends on a bitter note however, innocence lost and thrown in the trash. "Zig Zag/Dead Drop" closes the side with a trance-inducing tale of espionage, betrayal and murder. The music moves as if under a heavy fog of confusion and dread. The spaghetti western touches conclude a dramatic tale.

Side Two comes at you with a cynical sneer and a knife hidden behind its back; "NY NY NY" is a sarcastic stab at Family Curse's hometown, which happens to be one of the biggest, greatest and most frustrating cities in the entire world. We only hurt you cuz we love you, baby. This song refers back to late '70s New York punk, obsessed and repulsed by the city of its birth. The dirty streets of Manhattan replaced by the boring streets of Brooklyn. "Memory Sickness" recalls forgotten masters of socially-aware post-hardcore like Gray Matter and The Proletariat. It's noisy, jagged, and oppressive, but does not forsake a haunting melody and memorable chorus. "Trench Warfare" is a nasty tune; pounding, angular rhythms, courtesy of drummer Chris Kulcsar and bassist Joe Santa Ana Maria, are serrated by Ken Edge's Albini-worthy guitar-slash while Bradshaw's vein-bursting vocals are trapped in the muck and guts of the trenches of WWI. No one gets out alive. "Ex Flame Expressions" is unabashedly about the fairer sex, that is to say, the other sex; the one you are not. Bitterness can be its own power, might as well own it. Final track "Scorched Earth Policy" is a Cormac McCarthy-inspired anthem for all of the bandits, marauders and roving killers that made this country "great." America was born in blood and turmoil, and not much has changed. The difference is, now we are aware of traumatic events quicker and in more detail than at any point in our history. Twilight language.


Sights: video for “Zig Zag/Dead Drop” - http://vimeo.com/63632087
             video for “Julia Armant” -  http://vimeo.com/25529623



YellowGreenRed: “driving, thoughtful punk rock - Naked Raygun with a Wire fascination - his is what punk rock sounds like when kids grow old without growing out of touch”

Roctober: “Family Curse offers some profanely, nasty punk”

Suburban Voice: “hard-edged post-punk rock”

Sorry State: “like they could have come right from This Nation's Saving Grace-era Fall - relentlessly catchy”

Terminal Boredom: “In the best way, this doesn’t sound like it’s from Brooklyn. To lean on the crutch of trite comparisons, imagine Rikk Agnew’s mom replaced his steady diet of bacon grease and donuts or whatever for Monorchid records”

The Wire “Size Matters” Byron Coley: “choppy and loud in the manner of 100 Flowers or Mission of Burma”

Maximumrocknroll:  “Thick, meaty post-punk with snaking basslines, almost funk-punk guitars, and barked vocals. Shards of Yummy Fur or The Birthday Party make their way thought the high-volume attack.”

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