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Music / Curve

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English alternative group comprised of singer-songwriter Toni Halliday and guitarist/producer/everything else Dean Garcia. Their music is best categorized as Shoegazing; their best-known song is likely "Chinese Burn" from their 1998 album Come Clean, which was prominently featured in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Bad Girls" and used as the intro music for the Season 3 DVD menus. Active from 1991 to 1994, and again from 1996 to 2005.

Both Halliday and Garcia have since formed new bands, Chatelaine and SPC ECO, respectively.

Partial discography:

  • Doppelganger (1992)
  • Pubic Fruit (1992, EP compilation)
  • Cuckoo (1993)
  • Come Clean (1998)
  • Open Day at the Hate Fest (2001, album-length compilation of new music, online only)note 
  • Gift (2001)note 
  • The New Adventures of Curve (2002, online only)
  • The Way of Curve (2004, Greatest Hits Album)
  • Rare & Unreleased (2010, a compilation of rare tracks and remixes, via Bandcamp)

Tropes associated with Curve include:

  • Addled Addict:
    • "Coast is Clear", from their early Pubic Fruit EP, seems to be about one:
      It's just a little too late
      It's never enough to swallow those pills
      Now I'm sick, always will be
    • Come Clean as a whole has this as its central theme, most prominently on "Dirty High" and "Forgotten Sanity". The latter in particular uses it to disturbing effect:
      I've forgotten how to write
      And I'm giving up on speech
      I can't remember how I look
      Or the day of the week
  • Album Closure: "Recovery", the last track on Come Clean, is a Surprisingly Gentle Song about a Recovered Addict. The effect is enhanced by the speed and volume of the preceding title track, which builds the album to a crescendo before the Dénouement of the final track.
  • Boléro Effect: Done in miniature during the intro and outro of "Forgotten Sanity", with a repetitive, distorted guitar riff that starts out soft and gradually grows louder and shriller until it sounds like a screaming air-raid siren.
  • Break Up Song: Cuckoo has a few songs that seem to be about failed relationships, with "Turkey Crossing" being the most obvious:
    I'm finished with you, please be finished with me
    I've had it with you, you've had it with me
  • Careful with That Axe: The outro of "Split Into Fractions" features a lot of distorted screaming... and then one particularly piercing scream that is not distorted, and will freak you out if you're not expecting it.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Toni Halliday.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: The intro for "Chinese Burn" lasts for 58 seconds. Being the first song on Come Clean, it also acts as one for the album as a whole.
  • The Insomniac: "Fait Accompli":
    Every night, sleep wanders on its own
    Never once does it kiss me with its chloroform
  • Intercourse with You: The middle part of "Unreadable Communication" seems to be about particularly rough intercourse, especially when you factor in the incredibly intense guitar riff that plays over the lyrics:
    I would like to invite you
    To my mother's house, to my bedroom
    To play those old records
    We all know the words to
    And I would like you to kiss me
    To crush me, to lick me
    'Til I beg you to stop
    'Til you drive me crazy
  • Last Note Nightmare: Well, more like Last Minute Nightmare, but the final track on Gift, "Bleeding Heart", appears to fade out normally, then suddenly starts back up again at a much higher intensity. Amusingly, the first lyric you hear after this happens is "Should've seen it coming".
  • Limited Lyrics Song: The title track of Come Clean has its verses assembled from different combinations of the same four or five lines, and a chorus consisting of the same line repeated four times. Between the subject matter, and the loud, frantic delivery, the effect is that of a desperate, pleading attempt to get through to someone.
    When will you wake up?
    When will you wake up?
    When will you wake up?
    When will you wake up?
  • Madness Mantra: The end of "Bleeding Heart": "Should've seen it coming, should've done something, should've seen it coming, should've done something..."
  • Non-Appearing Title: A couple on each album:
    • "Clipped" from Pubic Fruit.
    • "Fait Accompli" and "Doppelganger" from Doppelganger.
      • In each of the first two examples, the album title itself also counts.
    • "Unreadable Communication" and "Turkey Crossing" from Cuckoo. Additionally, the first single from the album was called "Blackerthreetracker" - none of the songs on said single are actually called that.
    • "Sweetback" from Come Clean.
  • One-Woman Wail: In a few of the band's earlier songs. "Horror Head" and "Doppelganger" might be the most prominent examples.
  • Perishing Alt-Rock Voice: Mostly in the band's early material, but downplayed even then compared to other alt-rock bands of the time. Averted almost entirely from about Come Clean onwards.
  • Precision F-Strike: Possibly the only one in the band's entire repertoire, in the second verse of "Chinese Burn":
    She gets what she wants, then walks away
    And she doesn't give a fuck what you may say
  • Recovered Addict: Come Clean, appropriately, ends with a song called "Recovery" that appears to be about one.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Their last album's last song, "Joy", is the only one sung by Dean Garcia.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: The final songs on both Doppelganger ("Sandpit") and Come Clean ("Recovery") both count. "Unreadable Communication" from Cuckoo is a subversion, as it starts off gentle and remains that way for about two minutes... and then it explodes.
  • Take That!: As noted above, the very existence of Open Day at the Hate Fest was a Take That! against their record label for refusing to release their fourth (and ultimately final) album.
  • Title-Only Chorus: "It's hell above the water, hell above the water..."