Recordings: The Curtains – Calamity

    After making his official break from Deerhoof this year, Chris Cohen’s fourth record from his side-project-turned-lone-project, The Curtains, recalls soft labelmates Sufjan Stevens and Half-Handed Cloud with some rock ‘n’ roll to boot.

    Cohen’s opening vocals are backed by a softly played piano pleasant and dutiful to the Asthmatic Kitty sound, creating an air of familiarity that encourages its listener to “”Come on feel the Illinois.”” But on second track “”Green Water,”” bedroom pop is replaced with electric guitar and drums, a welcome shift in instrumentation that juxtaposes Cohen’s feeble voice with a strong electric backdrop.

    As Calamity progresses, The Curtains vacilate between signature Asthmatic Kitty gentlility and an unmistakably dissonant side, creating a record that can be best defined as strangely melodic.

    Whether through Cohen’s out-of-key vocals or a guitar solo hitting wrong notes, The Curtains test the boundaries of traditional pop music, but but never manage to escape the dervative familiarity of early ’90s indie rock acts like Pavement and Sebadoah.

    Where Calamity most shines and distinguishes itself is within its subtle nods to ’60s psychadelia. Drawing from The Who and Love, tracks like “”Roscomare”” and “”Green Water”” are able to rejuvenate classic rock in such a way that it becomes relevant and volatile to a current listener.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal