What’s new: “Vitriola,” Cursive

by Jon E. Lynch

Last week was one heck of a week for new releases, my friends, and it’s across the board. I do believe there is a little something for everyone. Before getting into my singular record of choice, let me give you my long-winded version of the quick and dirty on a handful of albums currently available at your favorite local independent record store.

I am rather looking forward to hearing the tenth long-player from Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power, titled “Wanderer.” The latest from the revered, canonized, indie chanteuse is available from Domino Records after parting ways with longtime label and independent heavyweight Matador Records. Speaking of heavyweight labels, Merge Records has two coming at you. Lo-fi, DIY indie pop from NY’s Swearin’ and Toronto’s post-hardcore indie rockers Fucked Up each released albums for the label, and on the same day, no less. Fucked Up’s is actually a double album, so count that however you will. Midwestern indie rap mainstays Atmosphere released “Mi Vida Local” on their own Rhymesayers Entertainment, and somewhere on the other end of the musical spectrum, country and honky-tonker JP Harris released a full-length without The Tough Choices, his backing band. For the sludge, doom metal-loving music fan, Richmond, Virginia’s Windhand released their first full-length in three years. You can also listen to new titles from Adrianne Lenker (solo debut from Big Thief frontwoman), Echo & the Bunnymen, Phosphorescent, mewithoutYou, High on Fire, Gregory Alan Isakov and Ghostface Killah. Like I said, one heck of a week, and a little something for everyone.

Even with so many albums available, it was the surprise release from Omaha, Nebraska’s Cursive that garnered repeated listens by me for one reason or another. The emo-leaning, indie-rocking post-punkers released their first new album in six years last week, and on their newly minted new label. Sonically, the band brought electric cello back into the fold, in addition to keyboards, courtesy of Megan Siebe and Patrick Newbery, respectively. The band recorded the album in Omaha at ARC Studios with Mike Mogis, who they last recorded with on the critically acclaimed “Happy Hollow.” The last few Cursive albums followed a theme, or even a story arc of some kind, but on “Vitriola,” the tracks stand on their own. What isn’t gone is the back and forth style of “scream along lyrics that make for unlikely anthems.” While instantly good for a listen, this album is a grower, for sure.

“Vitriola” is available now via 15 Passenger as a digital download (your choice of high quality MP3, FLAC, and more), on compact disc, on cassette tape, and eventually, presumably, on vinyl in the standard black colorway. Pre-order the LP version of the album directly from the record label and/or Cursive’s Bandcamp page to receive the album on limited edition black with green and gold starburst vinyl while supplies last.

Recommended for fans of Archers of Loaf, Jawbox, Superchunk, Fugazi, Polvo, Sebadoh, and newer acts like Cloud Nothings, Japandroids, and Murder By Death.

Jon E. Lynch[email protected]

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