Comes in beautiful shrink wrapped jewel case. Pure luxury. Cover and additional inside/back cover artwork by the maestro Marcelo Lavin. Bonus tracks NOT included on streaming services. NOTHING beats the sonic quality of a gorgeous compact disc. Stay woke...
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Call it “Curls Just Wanna Have Fun”: on the newest Curls LP Smothered & Covered, “Spiritual” Mick Fansler and his psycho-delic troubadours lay it all on the table. The members, now spread out between Chicago, Athens, GA, and Wyoming meld their eccentric backgrounds together to produce the sound of this mangy, utterly unique new LP.
The band’s funky singles and singular music videos gained them fans throughout the U.S. and catapulted them to the stage at Pitchfork Music Festival in 2018, but their sound has expanded since their 2019 LP Bounce House, becoming more limber and jammy. Their goofy spirit has grown complicated, insular; their playfulness has gained a political and artistically fruitful angst. This newest LP is a concept album, an LSD-soaked shrug to a world overridden with capitalist corruption and violence. As Mick sings on lead single “No Money, No Fun,” “no one’s making any money, no one’s having any fun.” The song that follows it, “Stiff Lightning,” consists of the repeated mantra “I live in the world.” The way they say it, it might not be a good thing.
But the Curls’ struggle is our benefit; they suffer for us. They have found a way to translate COVID-era social displacement into a joyful, communal sound. Album centerpiece “Chickens” turns a stoned-out breakdown – key lyric “I can’t believe / I can’t even read” – into a technicolor epic, a la King Crimson soundtracking a Rugrats episode. Their world is ours: iPhone screen-headaches, overly potent weed gummies, weird Joe Biden clips. But their musical palette is ambitious, fun, groovy. The combination of these elements provides something major, potentially essential, to the millennial spirit.
Mick and The Curls will soldier on, regardless of the world’s indifference; I’ve seen them tour Canadian dive bars in the dead of winter. Their spirit of irreverence is resilient. Their music provides a blueprint for a new path forward, in which the trolls and the Bernie Bros and the jam-banders and the acid casualties march together, lock-step, 4/4, 118bpm. I’ll follow them to the gates of CGI Hell.
Bio by Matthew Danger Lippman
released May 20, 2022
Written and performed by The Curls
Matt Puhr - Bass, Aux Percussion
Steve Plock - Drums, Aux Percussion
Jen Marshall - Synth, Keys, Vocals
Mick Fansler - Guitar, Vocals
Live tracked/engineered by Dave Vettraino at Jamdek Studios and Public House Sound Recordings in Chicago, IL
Mixed/Produced by Dave Vettraino & The Curls
Mastered by Mikey Young