1090 Club- Natural Selection


1090 Club - Natural Selection

I’m a fan of The Ugly Organ by Cursive. What seemed strange to me, of all the GBs of music that I’ve sifted through throughout my days, nobody else really tried to play in Cursive’s playground. There’s emo, sure, and there’s punk, and there’s plenty of that floating around the music stratosphere. But no one blended the two so seamlessly like Cursive. Tim Kasher emoted all over the place, but he never stepped inside the emo camp, just circled its perimeter. A very distinct album, and a successful one, but yet only very few were utilizing the genre. Well, finally, somebody dusted off the cobwebs of Cursive and decided to step inside the studio.

Do they resemble Cursive? Yes, I’d say so. Do they rip them off? Nope. 1090 Club manages to become their own entity, partly helped because Kasher is such a singular frontman. 1090 isn’t as blood curdling or brooding, but the group supplements those qualities with more melody. Akin to Cursive, 1090 Club uses the ebbs and flows of punk music to cultivate its tone and overall sound, while the members refine and polish their music with liberal use of the violin and jabs at the piano. The violin is certainly the MVP of the album, it’s beautiful and even haunting at times. It screams during aggressive breakdowns in a song, and weeps in tender moments. Opener “ITSON” is fantastic. It has the perfect amount of catchiness, edge, and tone. I could labor over every song, but they can be summed up rather easily. The next 9 songs are all fantastic, mixing punkmo (my half-assed combination of punk and emo) with their cornerstone, the violin. The album snakes in and out, within songs, of being somber and violent. It’s pretty manic, at times, which makes it all the better. Despite the manic episodes, Natural Selection is extremely cohesive, without a jagged edge anywhere in the album. Everything flows fluidly; a mature trait for a band releasing just their second album.

You could listen to this album and maybe nitpick that it sounds too emo. My counter: the voices heard on the album carry that emo cadence that we’re all used to, but it’s purely cosmetic. The band only flirts with emo, but their music is much more punk influenced, so don’t play the emo card on 1090 Club. The long and short of this whole review is that Natural Selection is really great. If you need a nudge to grab a copy, listen to “ITSON” or the closer, “Do.” I’m a little confused why these guys aren’t getting more of a push, though. They were produced by a well-respected producer, Steve Fisk. The guy’s resume includes producing for Nirvana (!), Soundgarden (!), and Minus the Bear. I should be hearing about these guys, reading about these guys, but I’m not. So, because they’re only a blip on the radar as of now, you probably won’t find them in any top 30 end-of-year lists, but in all honesty, they have one hell of a right to be on there.