Who: The Omaha-based indie-rock act fronted by Tim Kasher, an astute chronicler of life’s bleakest, most despondent moments. The band’s latest album is 2018’s Vitriola, a dark, chamber-folk album exploring the burdens of the modern world.
Where they’ve been: Vitriola is the first Cursive full-length in six years, although the band has stayed busy, founding the 15 Passenger Records label—through which Kasher issued a solo album, 2017’s No Resolution—and reissuing 2003’s The Ugly Organ.
What’s (old is) new: The new album marks the return of original drummer Clint Schnase and co-producer Mike Mogis; both men had last made appearances with Cursive on 2006’s Happy Hollow. And Vitriola features cello from Megan Siebe, the first Cursive album since 2003’s The Ugly Organ to incorporate the stringed instrument.
Why this matters: Vitriola is a throwback to Cursive’s gnarled, cathartic early days, something Kasher himself admitted to NPR Music: “I was really wanting to go back to that raw, emotional feeling that I used to get, how I wrote the first couple Cursive records when I was a younger man.” Accordingly, Seibe’s lithe, shivering chestnut tones intermingle with grungy guitars and Schnase’s heavy beat-keeping.
What’s next: Vitriola also boasts flashes of forward sonic motion—for example, standout “It’s Gonna Hurt” weaves in eerie synths and foggy atmospherics, giving it an aura similar to The Cure’s Disintegration—that portends an intriguing future.
CURSIVE with Summer Cannibals, Campdogzz, Dark Black. February 4, 7:30 p.m., $18-$20. Bunkhouse Saloon, 702-982-1764.