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The Original and Genuine

The Curst Sons

March 25, 2010 Comments: 0

Brighton-based trio The Curst Sons may have a old-timey, stripped-back style, without drums or bass (they go for cowbells, washboard or rhythm pole instead), but they’re far from understated. This is in-your-face music for a good old singalong stomp, supported by a group of strong songs and Willi Kerr’s unmistakable lead vocals.

Almost every song has an easy-to-learn, repetitive refrain to get the listener singing – or at least shouting “Murder!” Which is interesting because the lyrics are nearly all extremely black, filled not just with murders but also with disastrous affairs, shootings and devastating relationships.

Possibly the most distinctive song on the album is “Bang Bang Billy”, which recalls many an old western in its style and theme, and then eventually gets to join the Backroads list of lynching songs.

“Time Bomb” is one of the many tracks that invites audience participation as the singer struggles with a girl who has turned his world upside down. “Never Liked It” may be one of the catchiest songs ever to end in capital punishment.

Amid all the upbeat gloom, the one song that actually seems serious is a gentle song about how much more time the world spends thinking about hate than it does about love, perhaps because it is sung very straighter and seems less like a celebration than some of the others. But even this if this song doesn’t have you dancing, it’ll certainly have you swaying.

The Curst Sons are definitely unique, and in an industry where too many bands play really great music that sounds the same as too many other bands, that’s a major plus. Some listeners may find the performance a little overwhelming, but no one will listen to this album and be untouched by it.

Naomi Koppel

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