Cursive: I Am Gemini

Big noise and bigger concepts from the Nebraska band.

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Even during the height of the post hardcore/emo boom, Omaha band Cursive were just too weird to really break out of their cult bubble. This – as any self- respecting prog fan would attest – is a very good thing. They’ve picked a lofty concept for each album: Domestica was a painful picture of divorce and their best album, The Ugly Organ, dealt with the nasty side of love and sex.

I Am Gemini throws caution to the wind and tells the complex tale of twin brothers separated at birth - one good, one evil - who meet and do battle. Judging by the lyrics of songs like The Cat And Mouse, this is a metaphor for frontman Tim Kasher’s own internal struggles.

Throw in a cast of grotesque characters, from conjoined twins to angels and devils, via Greek mythology and old testament references, and you’re left with a mind-melting, hall-of-mirrors version of reality.

Musically, it’s no easy listen either. The abrasive stabs of guitar are as violent as the subject matter and just as compelling. The post hardcore melodies only really revealing themselves with repeated listens, and Kasher’s foghorn yelps build the drama. The rawness of the music just makes the literary ambition of the words all the more delicious.

Emma has been writing about music for 25 years, and is a regular contributor to Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Louder. During that time her words have also appeared in publications including Kerrang!, Melody Maker, Select, The Blues Magazine and many more. She is also a professional pedant and grammar nerd and has worked as a copy editor on everything from film titles through to high-end property magazines. In her spare time, when not at gigs, you’ll find her at her local stables hanging out with a bunch of extremely characterful horses.