Cursive Domestica / Burst and Bloom

With The Ugly Organ being one of the most critically lauded indie rock albums of the year so far, Saddle Creek has reissued two earlier Cursive records to keep the interest level high. Cursive’s Domestica, released back in 2000, contains less of the orchestral noise and aims more towards the full-on post-hardcore, angular punk sound. With Fugazi and Quicksand creeping out of their pores, Cursive are very tight, producing songs capable of exploding any second. Written about singer Tim Kasher’s marriage and divorce, it is a bittersweet account and seemingly a very cathartic tool for the songwriter. The result is an emotional and fiery lot of songs that attack straight from his broken heart. Burst and Bloom is a five-song EP follow-up from 2001, which works well as a stepping stone for the records before and after it. Featuring Gretta Cohn on cello (who shone on The Ugly Organ) for the first time, Cursive definitely take the edge off a bit and play with melody a lot more than on Domestica. Kasher’s "The Great Decay,” could even be seen as a blueprint for last year’s Desaparecidos project by Conor Oberst, while "Tall Tales, Telltales” nears Godspeed You! Black Emperor territory with their string manipulation and the constant building up and crashing down. Both captivating and bitingly romantic, these two reissues aren’t quite as rewarding as their successor, but play an intrinsic role in the band’s history. (Saddle Creek)