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The best kept secret in music


"21st Century Goth/ Gothic Bible"

" So it begins, and the rawness hits you. They’ve recorded it in an old fashioned way if you ask me. No cheap connecting to some home studio nonsense. It
sounds more like a group of people all crammed into one tiny studio the size of your spare room. And that makes it convey THAT sound.
‘Tattooed Rain’ introduces you to a strain of sleazy post-blues simplicity which I haven’t heard in such an authentic form since the original American Punk stuff from ‘77/’78, although maybe this is close to how Mothburner would sound if they were a full-blown band. Then, curiously, ‘Her Confessor’ is far slower, with more luminescent, tremulous vocals. This is real classic stuff with catchy, highly vowel-opened vocals... ‘Starfall’, with its splatter drumming and high Goth-folk vocals keeping the melody high, has passages where the vocal dominance sounds so Patti Smith it’s uncanny, which is exactly what Tattooed Rain reminded me off, ‘Horses’ era.
‘High Enough To Reach’ is another sign. It’s almost post-Morrissette, offering a personal lyrical message to someone with a drug problem, and it just has Major Label Deal all over it. They’re simply not like the other bands.” - Mick Mercer

"All Music Guide"

**** (four stars/ highest rating!)
It was a sad day for goth rock when the New York-based Caledonia called it quits in 1999. Thankfully, two of Caledonia's ex-members (drummer Robert Lacyk and the expressive singer Mikaela Pearson) ended up in an equally promising New York band called Curse , whose self-titled debut album is among goth's more bluesy and rootsy, less-produced efforts. This excellent CD has the usual goth elements -- haunting melodies, darkly romantic lyrics -- but it also has a healthy appreciation of blues-rock, folk-rock, and jazz. There are parallels between Curse and artists like the Crüxshadows, Diva Destruction, Sisters of Mercy, and the seminal Bauhaus, but Curse's members (who also include bassist Theodora Michaels and guitarist Kevin Michaels ) never sound like they listen to goth exclusively. When this very guitar-based album is playing, one gets the impression that they've been influenced by everyone from the Doors and Alice Cooper (both of whom helped pave the way for goth rock) to Siouxsie & the Banshees. The wildly infectious single "Graveyard Shuffle" (which boasts a guest appearance by rock/jazz guitarist Marc Ribot) has a bluesy, shadowy groove that would make the Doors proud, and melodic gems like "High Enough to Reach" and "Like a Glass of Wine" offer an unlikely blend of goth rock and folk-rock -- almost like goth meets the Indigo Girls. Curse 's first album is diverse and fairly unpredictable, but not at the expense of being focused and consistent. Those seeking something fresh from goth should make a point of obtaining this fine CD. -- Alex Henderson? - Alex Henderson


July, 2003

"The 11 magnificent songs on Curse's self-titled debut embrace a beautiful dark rock sound with lyrics inspired by mystical and mythological themes. All the songs make for an enjoyable listen, but the best track is the upbeat 'Starfall' with absorbing female vocals and a driving force to the guitars and drums. An unexpected surprise comes with the campy 'Graveyard Shuffle' with its New Orleans styled rhythm and guest musicians, Jazz composer David Amram and guitar guru Marc Ribot. With its bluesy attitude and a gothic atmosphere, Curse is sure to add that much needed voodoo to spice up your life."  - Octavia


CURSE (self titled)
"Pull My Daisy" CD single b/w "Graveyard Shuffle" (with Marc Ribot and David Amram)
"Tattooed Rain" (on Lollipop Mag compilation)


Feeling a bit camera shy


There's a sweet new sound burbling forth from NYC's underground. CURSE is the real deal, formed by four native New Yorkers who want to rock your world. We've been there, seen that, played in a gazillion bands, and were tired of hearing pallid imitations of the music we love.

Late one night in 1999, we decided to stop complaining about lame-ass music and do something about it. As the saying goes, "If you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself." Hence, the birth of CURSE.

With influences ranging from the Ramones and Velvet Underground to Siouxsie, Janis Joplin and Tom Waits, CURSE provides a deep rock sound that's easy on the ears and full of the passion that's been sadly lacking in any recent music "scene." Remember the way music used to be? When you could get excited about a band, and really believe? We do too, and we've made a CD that is honest, melodic and fun. It's also serious and thoughtful at times. These songs mean a lot to us.

CURSE creates as a band, and with few exceptions, all of the songs on the debut CD were crafted in the studio, with the parts evolving naturally, as we listened to each other's spontaneous ideas. This spontaneous collaboration makes for some very intricate music -- the result is much more interesting and complex than it would have been if we only had one or two songwriters in the band.

Guitarist Kevin Michaels says, "We wanted to capture our live sound on the CD, so we recorded everything live in the studio, with minimal overdubs. Of course, (producer) Wharton Tiers was very accustomed to recording this way, as he produced those great Sonic Youth records."

Lyrics are also central to the CURSE philosophy: there's always a deeper meaning behind the words and the way they fit together. Vocalist Mikaela Pearson has had extensive training in many spiritual and shamanic traditions, which is often reflected in the words she writes and sings. "Gris Gris" features an authentic Vodou chant/invocation, sung by Mikaela and Bassist/Vocalist Theodora Michaels. The songs "Maenads" and "Luna" are about ecstatic pagan rites.

The band's gritty realism and live shows at core venues such as Alchemy and CBGBs led to a notable buzz around town. Before CURSE even had a demo completed, we were asked to play at Irving Plaza as part of the prestigious Convergence Festival.

We've also been privileged to work with several of our musical and artistic heroes, who have kindly lent their considerable talents to the production of our debut CD. Wharton Tiers recorded and produced, musician-composer David Amram and guitar guru Marc Ribot played some wonderfully tasty stylings on "Graveyard Shuffle." Bob Gruen took the magnificent pictures. Comic book artist Peter Bagge did the nifty caricature of us for our stickers, and Johanna Pieterman painted a lovely portrait of us for our website.