Release Date: Aug 22, 2006
Record label: Saddle Creek
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
The thing is, even though it deals with such a formidable topic, Happy Hollow is still a whole lot of fun. It isn't anger or disillusionment so much that propels the record as it is bright horns and vocal lines with allusions to third-wave ska and even indie electronica. Cursive haven't reinvented themselves -- the heavy guitars and conversational, intelligent lyrics and the occasional pained scream are all still there -- but Kasher's vocals are less raw and the band's attention to strong, interesting phrases moves the album into musical territory that Cursive have usually passed over for something more angsty.
The current trend for young American men in thrall to Morrissey, and with a seemingly unending supply of black hair dye, can be attributed, in part, to Cursive. They have a jarring way of twisting a pop song until it becomes a despairing, punk-tinged chorale, yet still retains some semblance of a rather nifty tune. The Nebraskan group may be emo's elder statesmen but the accolade hasn't made them any cheerier as the somewhat ironically named Happy Hollow attests.