Good afternoon/morning/evening. I’d like to talk about one of the first cool bands I got into, and got into ,at least at first , because they were cool
Look at them in that video. Dean Garcia just looking both insouciant and rocky, Toni Halliday with eyes that could persuade a priest to kick in a stained glass window. I was 14 when ‘Horror Head’ came out and I wanted to be That. I bought my first issue of ‘Select’ music magazine because they were on the cover and then read it religiously for years. I bought the Horror Head EP on vinyl because it came in a cool box, even though all my other music was on cassette.
Even better, I found I was late to the party and that it wasn’t their first reléase. They had already had three EPs out. ‘Ten Little Girls’ , the lead single off their first EP Blindfold was a great calling card.
It’s an overused expression but it really wasn’t like anything else at the time. It’s a bit Shoegaze-y, hints of MBV-esque guitar, but with driving drums and even a rap break.
(I’ve deliberately linked to the radio sessión versión as Halliday handles all the vocals and whoever the try-too-hard guy rapping on the single reléase isn’t used)
It’s fair to say their debut álbum Doppelganger was much anticipated…..and a little disappointing. The singles were great but the rest of the tracks were a little overproduced. At times it was a whirl of noise in search of a tune. But the single ‘Fait Accompli’ is great and is probably exhibit A in the “Garbage totally ripped off Curve” argument.
Their second álbum Cuckoo was a little better, with the tunes given space to breathe amongst the distortion. Lord alone knows what lead to them agreeing to the video for ‘Superblaster’ but it was probably booze and cocaine.
Halliday has said in an interview that she really regrets that the band were really drunk for their sole Glastonbury appearance in 1993. ( They may have been very drunk as it was actually 1992 when they played Glasto)
As Halliday said ” We couldn’t have gone on like that” and they disbanded in 1994. Garcia worked on his solo project ‘Headcase’ and Halliday formed the band Scylla (as featured on the Showgirls soundtrack o.O)
She also sang on records with Leftfield and Future Sound Of London.
Garcia and Halliday reformed Curve in 1996 for the ‘Pink Girl With The Blues’ EP. The time spent working with dance acts had certainly influenced their sound. Their third álbum Come Clean had breakbeats and synths and tracks such as ‘Coming Up Roses’ had a definite Leftfield edge to them.
In 2001, they released the internet only Open Day at The Hate Fest and their fourth studio álbum Gift. Gift featured the single ‘Hell Above Water’ which was used on both the trailers for ‘Spider Man’ and ‘Iron Man’ as well as whichever terrible ‘Underworld’ film is featured in the video
By this point they had taken on a harder, more industrial sound although traces of the influence of Shoegaze were still evident. (Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine played guitar on two tracks on Gift ‘Perish’ and ‘ Want More, Need Less’)
In 2004 , they released a retrospective álbum Way Of Curve containing all their singles plus B-sides and rarities, and not long after that the group split for good.
I think they definitely deserve a listen and reducing them to the footnote of ‘Garbage influence’ sells them and Garbage short.
Thanks for reading.