Originally Written and Posted at Epinions.com on 9/18/08.
Formed in 1990 after a series of collaborations that included work with Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, Curve was created under the guise of singer Toni Halliday and musician Dave Garcia. The duo collaborated on a series of three EPs that was garnering critical acclaim with help from producer Steve Osborne. In 1992, the band released their full-length debut album Doppelganger to rave reviews as months later, their first three EPs were compiled along with an extended version of their single Fait Accompli entitled Pubic Fruit. With many tracks produced by Steve Osborne and songs written by Dean Garcia and Toni Halliday. The record is an album that showed Curve's unique sound as it blended the styles of Goth and shoegaze as the EPs were popular in the burgeoning shoegaze music scene. The result is an excellent EP from one of the 1990s most overlooked acts from that scene.
The album opener is Ten Little Girls from the Blindfold EP. With its smooth, driving guitars, throbbing bass lines and sputtering beats, the song is led by the serene yet cool vocals of Toni Halliday with her dark, descriptive lyrics. Led by Dean Garcia's arrangements and guitar production, the song includes a rap-break in the middle as its shoegaze-like guitars accompany Halliday's vocals. The next three tracks also come from the Blindfold EP with I Speak Your Every Word preceding. The slower yet rhythmic track led by Garcia's waa-waa guitar swank and Halliday's cool vocal style, the song mixes funky rhythms and shoegaze-style guitars with Halliday's dream-like vocals and eerie lyrics. Blindfold is a soft, pulsating track with throbbing beats and rhythms led by Dean Garcia's ringing, shimmering guitar. Halliday's vocals are eerie yet cool through Steve Osborne's production and Garcia's wailing guitars.
No Escape From Heaven is a pulsating, rhythmic number led by its thumping beats, driving guitar squeals, and Halliday's smooth, dream-like vocals as she sings dark lyrics that are heightened by her sexy vocals and Garcia's driving guitar work. The next four tracks come from the Frozen EP starting off with Coast Is Clear. The rhythmic, guitar-driven track led by Garcia's guitar swirls and Halliday's engaging yet serene vocals as it's filled with blistering, layered guitars and Halliday's dark lyrics. With its rhythmic beats and driving guitars, it's clear that the band is going more into rhythmic, electronic territory. Colour Hurts is a slower yet shimmering track with its guitars and a smooth, mid-tempo rhythm as Halliday's vocals shine through its ethereal delivery and descriptive lyrics. With Garcia's reverb guitars and smooth, throbbing bass lines, it's definitely a wonderful song that is true to the shoegaze genre.
Frozen is a smooth, upbeat track led by its throbbing rhythms and shimmering guitar tracks as Toni Halliday sings in her dream-like, ethereal vocal as her vocals are the highlight to the song with Garcia's driving, wailing guitar. Zoo is another pulsating, electro-rhythmic track with its driving guitars and Halliday's cool, engaging vocals as she sings dark lyrics filled with eerie imagery. The next four tracks come from the Cherry EP starting with Clipped, that also appears in the band's full-length debut album Doppelganger. With its fast, pulsating beats and driving guitar wails, Halliday sings the song with her soft, smooth vocals as it's one of the band's standout cuts thanks to its guitars and Halliday's vocals. Die Like A Dog is a smoother yet bass-heavy track with throbbing beats and swirls of electronic keyboards as it's still driven by Garcia's funk-swatting guitars. Halliday's vocals are smoother yet eerie as she displays great vocal work along with her dark lyrics as it's a funky song that mixes shoegaze and electronics.
Galaxy is a fast, upbeat track with its pulsating, electro-beats and driving guitar fuzz-melodies as Halliday sings smoothly with her sexy, ethereal vocals filled with spacey lyrics and Garcia's swirling guitar chimes. Cherry is a dreamy, melodic-driven track that starts off smooth until pulsating beats start to come in along with shimmering, driving guitar work from Dean Garcia as Halliday continues to sing but in a growling, engaging vocal style as opposed to ethereal approach in the opening section. The song then moves back and forth from dream-like to more driving, engaging guitar-driven style. The album closer is an extended version of the single Fait Accompli that is produced by Flood, famous for his work with U2, Depeche Mode, & Nine Inch Nails. With its driving guitars, throbbing beats, wailing vocals, and Halliday's engaging, cool vocals. The song is given more instrumental breaks and guitar solos through Flood's layered, atmospheric production.
Pubic Fruit is an excellent album that compiles Curve's first three EPs along with one of their famed singles. While Doppelganger is a better introduction, this is still worthy since it contains two songs from their full-length debut. Fans who love Curve will no doubt consider this as essential along with completists. In the end, for anyone that likes ethereal vocals, shimmering guitars, Gothic overtones, and electronic rhythms, Curve's Pubic Fruit is the record to get.
Curve Albums: Doppelganger - (Radio Sessions) - Cuckoo - (Come Clean) - (Open Day at the Hate Fest) - (Gift) - (The New Adventures of Curve) - (The Way of Curve)
(C) thevoid99 2011