originally written by Jim Brandon
When was the last time you heard a truly pissed-off album? I don’t mean just super heavy guitar tones, blast beats, or over the top throat shredding, I mean genuinely pissed. Intolerant. Not open minded. Obnoxious, and not caring who’s offended by it. A tried and true Fuck You record. Kinda’ like High On Fire flying on a pound of blow while in a totally unreasonable mood at your daughter’s wedding, or Spitfire spoiling your two year old son’s birthday party with beer bongs and cigarette smoke, or in this case, Cursed doing…anything. With their third album this four-piece Goodfellow Records act brings forth a tumultuously thick, wading-through-mud grinding hardcore disc that is about as pissed off as anything I’ve heard since, well, the last Cursed album.
Don’t confuse this band with that ‘other’ band called “The Cursed“, because if you’re expecting NY thrash from Blitz and Dan Lorenzo, you’re gonna’ be rubbed raw with disappointment here. The first 1:27 should be enough of a warning to hold on tight, as this short and most definitely to-the-point effort entitled III, The Architects Of Troubled Sleep contains eleven filthy, noisy hardcore/sludge numbers that let you know you’ve just been thoroughly used and abused by the time it’s done playing. The grinding tones, uncultured vocals, sledgehammer production, and most of all the freestyling riffs aligned with bad acid trip power chords will run roughshod all over unprepared ears. Many shifting tempos range from ballistic aggression, to elephantine slow lumbering crawls, tunes like “Unnecessary Person” test endurance and physical strength, especially when laid among grimy uptempo thrashers like “Hegel’s Bastards”, along with mini assaults like “Night Terrors”, and “Dead Air At The Pulpit”. It’s a truly wretched cacophony, and at times it’s almost too much to bear.
There is a moment of rest, however, and it comes by way of comparative marathon closing tune “Gutters”. Cursed almost, almost out-Converge‘s Converge with this lumbering track, reminding me of the depressed, sorrowful blare found on much of the stellar You Fail Me. Over seven minutes of slothlike excess, this song securely pounds the final nail, ending this relatively brief explosion of screaming hardcore with the exhausted result of such a vitriolic show of spiteful noise. Adding bouncy but undoubtedly abrasive punk songs like “Antihero Resuscitator” into the equation brings a bit of momentary color and twisted vibrancy to the disc, but there’s definitely nothing happy sounding about Cursed. At all.
While I stop short of calling this a defining moment for the band, Cursed sure didn’t leave much to the imagination, as usual, and I still have yet to hear these guys write anything that brings the suckage. Sure, the sound is well-worn and familiar to many of us who follow Goodfellow bands, but sometimes the uncomplicated, unsophisticated albums like III, The Architects… prove to be the most long-lasting and enjoyable over time. Sort of like a good sucker, but this sucker is made out of shards of glass and rotten meat, so a mouth protector or dental dam might come in handy for those of you with more sensitive ears… or gums, or something. Buy it if you can find it, get ready to be splayed, and address your Thank You card to Canada along with a beer voucher. I’m sure they’ll love you for it.