THE NEW ADVENTURES OF CURVE
ALBUM FATLIP RELEASE: JUNE 12,
2002 REVIEW: JUNE 24, 2002
was a very pleasing day when I checked my mailbox and found a little parcel
from England therein. This disc is the newest work by the legendary English
rock/hip-hop/electronica band Curve. For this release, they have done
all the distribution themselves and have released it on their very own
Fatlip label (which was also responsible for 1996's "Pink Girl with
the Blues" single). All songs were recorded during the first months
of this year and by thunder what a treat they are.
say that this album carries on in the guitar-heavy tradition of the band
would be a lie. This is a very aptly named release as it truly contains
some groundbreaking work from Curve. The lead track "Answers"
is a gritty techno-based number with Toni Halliday repeating the same
phrase at different intervals during the song. Following that are some
even more remarkable songs, the most noticeable being "Star"
and "Signals and Alibis".
"The New Adventures of Curve" is a much more electronic album
in comparisons to past works. I would say the closest comparison one could
make would be some of the more intense electro moments on "Gift"
(2001) and "Cuckoo" (1993). The last track on the album is the
most surprising as it has Dean Garcia doing lead vocals. Surprise surprise,
the Curve man can sing quite well.
have made something quite novel in this day and age, an "electronica"
album without the ka-ka. There is a level of variation in each song which
is sorely missing in this kind of music elsewhere. I was quite mesmerised
by the fact that most of the songs top out at over seven minutes; this
is not traditionally how Curve writes songs but it works extremely well
on this album. Dean Garcia shines on guitar as well as his trademark bass
guitar work and Toni Halliday's vocals have never sounded better. The
slinky voice of Ms Halliday has been making me shiver ever since I first
heard it back in 1992 and somehow, it has gotten better over time. How
did this happen, how I wish I knew. Did I mention that every track on
this album kicks ass? Well, I just did, didn't I?
only this band had the major label propaganda machine backing them up!
This album deserves much wider distribution and speaking as a die-hard
fan of the band I fully expect them to get it. A gem of an album and one
which I would recommend to anybody who has had their fill of what is being
passed off as "female-fronted electronica" or god forbid "female-fronted
future pop". Curve has balls which would break the collective careers
of all those bands. You followers who thought you'd stolen Curve's thunder
have been served notice: Give up. The masters are here to stay.