by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
The Boston underground has always been a vibrant source for interesting punk and post-punk music that remains ever vital if you dig deep enough. Curse Word, a new band comprised of Matt Powell (Bulletin, Trespasser, a stint in Grass Is Green), Darl Ferm (Speedy Ortiz), and Jake Waldman, are a scrappy trio that have warped and bent the sound of bands like Polvo, Jawbox, and Faraquet (much like their peers in Two Inch Astronaut and Grass Is Green) adapting it into their own, opting for accessibility in the face of complex progressions and tangled rhythms. For every mangled and detached slide into math rock dexterity on their debut album, Your Name, they’ve matched it with Powell’s warm vocal melodies and a jittery brightness. The band worked together with Palehound/Grass Is Green’s Jesse Weiss (recording/engineer), Pile/Philary’s Alex Molini (mixing/co-producer), and Big Ups’ Amar Lal (mastering), adding an extra degree of familiarity to their intricate and expansive art punk approach.
Your Name is their debut album but it’s no first rodeo and it most definitely doesn’t sound like your typical debut. The songs throughout are fully realized and impeccably composed, jarring one moment and swooning the next on songs like “Over You” and the propulsive dissonant charm of “Big Fingers.” The tightly wound rhythms are as muscular as they are skittish, recalling a primal approach to something brilliant, swerving from one moment to the next with a chaotic fluidity seen in “Customer Service” and the jagged stop/start bliss of “Stress Vomit.” The record pulls no punches and every song is crammed to the brim with sinewy riffs and jaw-dropping musicianship from all three members. Your Name is impossibly promising and it gets better with every listen, each one a chance to sink deeper into their reconfigured punk.