Release Date: Aug 14, 2015
Record label: Saddle Creek Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
The prospect of a new album after an eight-year gap is a risky one, but it seems that in the case of the Good Life, the time apart has revitalized them. More so than on any of their previous albums, the band seem to be writing and playing as a cohesive unit.Everybody's Coming Down finds Tim Kasher reprising his themes of uncertainty and disenchantment. As always, he's lost in the 21st century — if you're acquainted with Cursive's Mama, I'm Swollen or Kasher's solo record The Game of Monogamy, these themes will feel familiar.
Tim Kasher is a transparent emotionalist. How he feels dictates how his music sounds and what it speaks to, often directly referencing the pleasures and turmoils of his personal life. In the earliest days of his band Cursive, Kasher was an unabashed screamer, letting loose the anxieties of his early 20s through squalls of post-hardcore guitar and bitter, literal lyrics of lovelorn solipsism — most notably on Domestica and The Ugly Organ, both of which have become canonized in indie rock lore.
In explaining Everybody’s Coming Down to Paste Magazine, The Good Life bandleader Tim Kasher discusses how difficult it is to really live life in the present, acknowledging a ‘certain limbo between what was and what’s going to be. ’ He concludes by calling the album part of ‘an ongoing wallowing on ageing and death. ’ He is not wrong, a fact that that plays directly into the record’s strengths and shortcomings.
As the frontman for both Nebraskan indie-emo band Cursive and side project the Good Life, Tim Kasher has been performing for nearly two decades. So questions about whether or not this was what his life was meant to be, and why he craved the spotlight in the first place, were perhaps inevitable. Via dual guitar and fuzz-pedaled power-chord rock, the 12 tracks on the Good Life's latest, Everybody's Coming Down, let Kasher's commanding voice—sweetened by bassist Stefanie Drootin-Senseney's Pixies-like vocal accompaniment—ask such existential questions.
After an extended break that included solo releases and Cursive albums from bandleader Tim Kasher, as well as projects from other members of the indie rock quartet, the full membership of the Good Life reconvened in 2014 to join Kasher in the songwriting process and create what is the band's first true team effort in every sense, with all songwriting credited to the band. Yet again different from previous manifestations, the result is the mercurial but more alt-rock-defined Everybody's Coming Down, their first album after the more singer/songwriter-leaning Help Wanted Nights eight years prior. Anyone who didn't care for the '90s should brace themselves; with rawk guitar leading a unified front, "Everybody" could be a lost track from Weezer's Blue Album and "Forever Coming Down" borders on math rock, while "Ad Nausea," with its rotating rhythms and meters, most certainly is.
Taking the long view, Cursive frontman Tim Kasher’s trajectory appears more like that of a Hollywood journeyman than a musician. His most renowned work could be described as "reality programming"—Domestica, The Ugly Organ, and Black Out played up the distasteful and compelling tics of their narcissistic leads to provide gripping conflict and perverse pleasure. His brief residency in Los Angeles coincided with his "screenwriting" period, Happy Hollow and Help Wanted Nights creating self-contained, fictional cities filled with multi-dimensional characters and their questionable motivations (the libretto-assisted I Am Gemini was a one-off in musical theater).