If 'The Curses' have souls, they are old ones. Their music is kinda like going to your favorite buffet Sunday afternoon with a bad hangover. So many tasty flavors to chose from! Stylistically, you might indulge in the flavors of Hank Williams-type fixins washed down with a bottle of Tom Waits' favorite whiskey, followed by decadent glop of Brian Setzer's grandma's mystery puddin'. Their music spans a strange and familiar point in time. The "sound" of 1920s style jazz, swing, folk, and country but with a new light shone upon it. How do you hear old and new songs at the same time? 'The Curses.'
Benjamin Spoden - Lead Vocals & Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar.
David Tcheng - Trumpet, Piano, Sax, voice, flute, french horn, Melodica, echo horn
David Garcia - Drums &Percussion
Chris Strand - mandolin, Upright Bass, and Vocals
Claire Cannon - Fiddle
"The Karmic Whip Cracks Hard" EP 2009
"Old Magazines" Full Length Debut May 2011
Download "Old magazines" at CD BABY.com or at www.thecurses.com
Album review of old Magazines by Smile Politely
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Their new album, Old Magazines, is well done. The band displays their musicianship well, mining jazz...Their new album, Old Magazines, is well done. The band displays their musicianship well, mining jazz and blues on the first half and kicking out swinging jams on the second. The album effectively displays their skills, but I don’t think it does a good enough job of properly portraying the full extent of their musicianship.
It seems like everyone on the album is good for at least two instruments, eight if your name is David Tcheng. The arrangements on the album are well thought out and use the vast instrumentation to its advantage, but the whole time I listened to this album, I couldn’t help thinking that this is a band that would be best heard live.
The album is co-produced by the band and Aaron McCallister, and the combination works. But at times it sounds a bit too clean.
Lead singer Benjamin Spoden has a Waitsian growl to his voice that does not appear enough on this album. He lets it loose on a few songs, “Vroom Ditty Doom” and “Blow Your Speakers” especially, but at times he coos more than snarls. I could go for much more, but I’d be willing to guess he hasn’t had as much whiskey as Tom Waits has, so he can have some more time.
“Blow Your Speakers” – featuring that wonderful growl – is probably my favorite song on the album. The slide guitar and marimba match everything else that is going on very well and give the song a great brooding feeling.
The album’s first song, “Hold On,” and their cover of the Kinks “Sunny Afternoon” also stood out to me as fantastic songs. The rest of the album played well, especially with the switch from jazz/blues to swinging pop. The only song that didn’t catch on with me was “Vroom Ditty Doom.” I loved the rough vocals, but I just didn’t connect with the storyline about mowing the lawn.
Overall, Old Magazines is a good album and worth discovering for yourself. But, I would recommend picking up the album at a live performance. Seeing The Curses live just seems like the right way to hear their music – I know I’ll be finding a concert of their soon.
The Curses featured on Radio Crystal Blue Podcast
The Curses will be featured in a PODCAST on Radio Crystal Blue on wednesday, November 23rd.
We can provide up to three 50-minute sets of originals and covers by artists like Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, The Band, Leon Russell, Elvis Presley, Tom Waits, The Kinks, Ernest Tubb, Handsome Family, and more
There are no upcoming dates at this time.