Cursive / Eastern Youth
Eight Teeth To Eat You CDEP - Better Looking

The idea of a split EP is to bring together the fan base of two bands, thus doubling the sales and exposing audiences to a new band. It’s an old idea, and it must work, because bands are still doing it all the time. Coming into this album, I was fairly acquainted with Cursive but not terribly familiar with Eastern Youth. Needless to say, Cursive’s tracks are excellent, continuing in the vein of last year’s Burst And Bloom EP with more melody, a bigger sound and more of that gorgeous cello. Mike Mogis’ production work with the band becomes continually more expansive with each album, layering textures of sound that give the songs a deep, room-filling resonance. Only one song, “Escape Artist”, which features guitarist Ted Stevens on vocals, doesn’t stand up. Weaker and more structurally meandering than the rest of the Cursive tracks, its main fault is failing to use their biggest asset: Time Kasher’s amazing voice. Eastern Youth’s contribution takes a little while longer to get used to. The main obstacle in listening to these songs is that they’re in Japanese. One must instead be content to listen to the music with the vocals as simply another instrument, having no more specific meaning that any of the guitar lines. It takes a while to get used to, but eventually their sparkling guitar lines and deceptively upbeat rhythm section began to grow on this reviewer. Though many of their melodies at first seem to be generally upbeat, a closer listen reveals a hidden melancholy. Their sharp, subtle rhythms shape staccato beats into musical lines that have as much power as any language, musically transcending the thick language barrier in a matter of minutes with each song. (Peter Suderman)



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