Kurvi Tasch Don't Care if The Internet Likes Them
The Montreal three-piece postpunk band don't care if the internet likes them.
Despite naming themselves after an ephemeral villain off of The Adventures of Tin Tin, Kurvi Tasch make very here-and-now melodic post-punk music whose lifeblood is marbled guitar tones, cut jean shorts and sardonic left turns in their songwriting. The Montreal three piece just released their debut On Firm Ground this August, and the record is brimming from start to finish with strong, tight tunes that sound like the unwanted love-children of various members of 60s psychedelic folk group Love and 80s UK post-punkers, the Chameleons.
Self-described as “angular guitar lines covered by moody vocals supported by melodic basslines”, Kurvi Tasch subscribe almost wholeheartedly to the romantic notion that clever tight songs and beautiful melodies should sell themselves, as there’s few bells-and-whistles when it comes to the band’s sound. In 2014, when every teenager is an orchestral bedroom producer, Kurvi’s tight, stripped down simplicity is strangely luring. That the tracks are also ridiculously catchy probably plays into that fact too.
And while on-paper descriptions of Kurvi read as almost any band – Minimalist? Jangly? Dark? Humorous? Shorts? Do these words mean anything anymore? Where am I? - in execution, what Kurvi Tasch have that is comfortable – rather than eccentric – chemistry that is the byproduct of the members knowing and playing music with each other for years and years - and the natural interpersonal fun idiosyncrasies that grow out of such latent yet purposeful naiveté.
The songs are familiar, but new. We’ve heard them before, yet not really. Take “Cross That Line,” for example, the single that lead up to the release of their debut that sounds transported from an 80s garage that was too lazy to crawl into a fanzine. Tongue in cheek humor sensibilities also often manifest in the form of sharp melodic turns or lyrics. “No, it’s not enough to say she’s missed, while you’re standing on the precipice. I just wanna Cross That Line,” sings Alex, delivering the song’s title in a way that sounds as much as a regretful daydream as it is a type of directive order.
Or “Mess You’ve Made,” the beautiful head bobbing jangle track that can’t tell how it feels about the fact that a mess has been made, it just knows that it has. “The songs communicate deeply personal attempts to understand the different and complex ways that I (and more generally those around me) attempt to produce meaning and value in life,” explains Alex. “Lots of attention is given to internal perceptions and psychological dilemmas of all sorts - either real or imagined - and breaking down superficial assumptions around one's own beliefs.”
Songwriting aside, an invaluable aspect to that timeless sonic quality found on On Firm Ground, is the production. Recorded entirely to tape in Montreal’s off the beaten path yet magnificent Bottle Garden Studio, the limitations and tones afforded by such recording sensibilities appear to greet the songs themselves with a type of self-assured welcome home hug. The songs are continuously curious and experimental within the bands self imposed sonic limitations.
Their live shows are usually much more raucous and fun, as their punkier sensibilities come to the surface far more than on record, affording the songs a different more danceable and unraveling feel.
Catch Kurvi Tasch this fall at POP Montreal.
Steven Viney is a writer based in Montreal. He is on Twitter - @helloximage