Happy Hollow | Saddle Creek
By MATT ASHARE  |  September 26, 2006
3.0 3.0 Stars

DECONSTRUCTION WORKERS: Don’t be put off by Cursive’s decision to subtitle one of their albums Semantics of Song.

Cursive once subtitled an album Semantics of Song. That’s all you should have to know about Tim Kasher’s Omaha outfit. Only it’s not that simple, or that complicated. Kasher isn’t some mad deconstructionist. He may have a taste for quirks, jerks, and deep thoughts, but he rarely strays from rockist structures or crucial pop conventions like hooks and melodies. So don’t be scared off by all his Happy Hollow liner-note blather about “hymns for the heathen.” “You’re not the chosen one/I’m not the chosen one,” he intones against punkish guitars on the welcoming first cut, “Opening for Hymnal/Babies.” Read into that what you will, but it sure sounds like a father talking to a kid. Elsewhere, he addresses an aging Dorothy of Yellow Brick Road fame, gets a horn section involved in the scathing science anthem “Big Bang,” and, in the oddly æthereal “Bad Sects,” follows a soldier’s journey to the front lines. In the end it’s the guitars, which alternate from restrained, melodic jangles to serrated feedback screams, and the general sense that Happy Hollow chronicles life during wartime that hold these 14 tune together, hymns or otherwise.

Cursive + Detachment Kit | Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville | September 30 | 617.931.2000

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