"To Dig A Hole"
July 12, 2011 - Paper + Plastick
Reverse The Curse's full-length debut, Hither & Yon, is a few years in the making. The band's last proper EP, Paths, was issued back in 2008 as an indelibly solid slab of punky post-hardcore nestled somewhere between Hot Water Music and Polar Bear Club. That sound's all the rage these days, and maybe Reverse The Curse took notice—because Hither & Yon is a pretty stark turn away from it.
The album references acts ranging from Tom Waits to Colour Revolt, while the use of pensive-sounding pedals and occasional keys adds tension and a hint of Southern snarl. Sure, the band are still howling out personal pains and practically choking on gravel, from the Chris Wollard-esque strain in "Bathers" to the riffy and raspy "Serotonin," but their yearning is far more dynamic and sprawling than their now-former peers. Sometimes these motions spill forth a sparkling post-rock ripple, as they do to close "Suplex Condenser Dispenser."
As Hither & Yon plays through, you actually wish the band would take more chances, because they pull them off so chillingly well. From the ominous, twirling riff that subtly ushers in the teeth-clenched opener "Bell, Book & Candle" to the earthy metaphors of "To Dig A Hole," it's the band's most unexpected tones and turns that feel the most accomplished and gripping.
Like the former members of Philly post-hardcore act Jena Berlin did with their more expansive follow-up project, Restorations, Reverse The Curse are taking a popularized punk sound they'd already honed well and breaking it apart for something new and exciting. If that's the new trend, they’ve effortlessly spearheaded it.