Such Blinding Stars for Starving Eyes



by The Jungler USER (183 Reviews)
April 15th, 2007 | 12 replies

Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cursive's debut, 11 distortion soaked, emotion ridden songs, comes off as a younger, worse, version of the band's breakthrough Domestica.

Such Blinding Stars for Starving Eyes was released at a time when many of the things that define Cursive today had yet to occur. Lead singer Tim Kasher’s divorce, a topic that reoccurs on many Cursive (and Kasher’s side project, The Good Life) songs, was still in the future. Guitarist/backing vocalist Ted Stevens had yet to join and the use of cellos and horns, instruments that are very much present on the group’s later albums, are nowhere to be found. The album isn’t put out by Saddle Creek Records, the label that would come to release most of the band’s later material. Even Kasher’s voice, which Pitchfork has gone as far as to describe as “the worst great voice in indie rock”, seems like it has a lot of growing to do.

Despite all this, Such Blinding Stars for Starving Eyes still sounds like Cursive, just a Cursive that is still a little rough around the edges. Such is displayed at the get-go, with tracks one and two, After the Movies and Downhill Racers . The somewhat restrained opening minute of the former sounds like it could easily have a place on Domestica. The song maintains its slower tempo, even when Kasher starts screaming at the top of his voice. This screaming is probably the weakest part of the entire album. Where the screaming on Domestica is top notch, Kasher’s screaming on Such Blinding Stars sounds quite a bit younger, a whole lot different and worse overall. The latter of the two opening tracks is a very Pavement-esque affair, and a definite standout. Kasher’s screaming reappears in the choruses, where he shouts lyrics “All my limbs/They're just tools/Duplicated, mass produced” overtop the kind of sublime guitar/bass interplay Cursive are known for.

The rest of album sort of goes downhill from here. Nothing really sticks out from the pile of quiet-loud-quiet formulas, overly distorted guitars, and Kasher’s highly personal lyrics. Songs like Target Group , a four minute and thirty second distortion fest, epitomize this. Eight Light Minutes , the album’s shortest track, break away but do so quite poorly. Coming off as Cursive’s attempt at making their own version of Pavement’s 5-4=unity , Eight Light Minutes is mostly instrumental, featuring noisy, fast paced guitar leads reminiscent of many 90’s Indie acts. Kasher’s only lyrical contribution comes towards the end when he mumbles “I'll wear it out/But it's just eight light minutes I'm offering you/We could burn up so close/We could burn to our cores” over one of the song’s quieter moments.

Thankfully, Such Blinding Stars picks up a bit towards the end, with the last three tracks getting progressively better. Even this, combined with the strong start can’t stop me from summing up my review by calling Cursive’s debut what it really is: a younger, far worse, version of Domestica. On said CD, Tim Kasher can be heard shouting “Your sorrow’s a gold mine” . If Kasher’s divorce was what spawned Domestica, he couldn’t be right.


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user ratings (104)

Comments:Add a Comment 
La Revolucion
April 16th 2007


I didn't even know this existed. They have some great stuff, but I'll just avoid this.

April 16th 2007


I still need me some Cursive.

Good review as always Katz Brotha'.

April 16th 2007


I need to get this. I love Cursive. I think I'm gonna review the B-sides album, which I'm assuming has a close resemblance in sound to this album. Their early stuff is definitely not as interesting or amazing as the Domestica/Ugly Organ material.

The Jungler
April 16th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

[quote=trust]I still need me some Cursive.[/quote]Get Domestica now.[quote=cb]I need to get this. I love Cursive. I think I'm gonna review the B-sides album, which I'm assuming has a close resemblance in sound to this album. Their early stuff is definitely not as interesting or amazing as the Domestica/Ugly Organ material.[/quote]Yeah, I'd say if your a big Cursive fan you should probably get this. A lot of the songs blend together, but there are some pretty great songs.

April 16th 2007


Word, they're one of my favorite bands so I'll definitely get this. What I meant to say is their early stuff isn't as experimental or incredible as their Ugly Organ/Domestica stuff, but it's still interesting and fun. There are a few gems on The Difference Between Houses And Homes.

April 16th 2007


I will get Domestica

September 4th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

This is the only album I've heard from them. I enjoy it quite a bit, but the songs sound quite the same. If you played a random song I probably wouldn't be able to identify which one it is. Apart from maybe At The Movies and Retirement.

The Jungler
September 4th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

If you even kind of like this, you need to get Domestica. Like this, but 50x better.

September 4th 2007


Yea Domestica has a bit of variety. Despite the average overall rating, it seems like I would like this.This Message Edited On 09.04.07

March 13th 2012


Album Rating: 1.5

I want to like this album because I really do like Cursive but I just can't.

May 13th 2014


Album Rating: 5.0

The entire album was pretty good. " The rest of album sort of goes downhill from here"

Dont be such a anal bead

February 12th 2017


Album Rating: 3.5

Maybe it's because I'm a sucker for the formative """bad""" years of a band, but a few songs in and I can already tell this average is shit.

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