With a post-punk album as powerful as this one, who needs guitars?
Fitting somewhere between Suicide, Tangerine Dream, and Giorgio Moroder, Dallas trio Nervous Curtains excel at creating uncomfortable yet compelling post-punk utilizing only synths and drums. In the wake of a quiet 2014 that saw member Sean Kirkpatrick play keyboards on Swans' monumental album To Be Kind the band is back with Con, their third album. Produced by Daron Beck of the great, similar-minded duo Pinkish Black, the new record fuses experimentation, vintage sounds, and strong melody, yielding a piece of work of unrelenting tension yet remaining accessible all the while.
"Con is the result of us having been a band for since 2008 and playing hundreds of shows," the band tells PopMatters. "We wanted to keep the energy level high and reflect the raw intensity of our live show. Most of the basic tracking was done live in the studio. On our first two albums, we’d layered everything to a scratch track. In fact, [during] the first session the Pro-Tools system at the studio was encountering a glitch. It would not let us do any punch-ins. So we were forced to get solid takes that didn’t require any fixes. I think it upped the stakes and made us play better.
"The album has a feeling of defiance to it. The songs are mostly about conviction. Is my belief driving me to accomplish positive acts, or am I operating under some destructive self-delusion? These types of contradictions drive the songs. People are so intense about their beliefs, myself included. When our convictions are so powerful, are we able to see the truth objectively? That’s the idea of Con."
Com will be released 0n 2 October. Pre-order it via Bandcamp.