Curve includes: Dean Garcia (vocals, guitar); Toni Halliday (vocals); Monti (drums).
Additional personnel: Sally Herbert (violin).
Recorded at Todal Studios, London, England between December 1992 and March 1993.
Liner Note Authors: Dean Garcia; Toni Halliday.
Recording information: The Church; Todal.
Following the success of Curve's debut full-length Doppelgnger, which nearly hit the U.K. Top 10 and spawned two hit singles (even garnering alternative radio and dance club play in the United States), the British group went in a darker, moodier direction with 1993 follow-up Cuckoo. Opener "Missing Link" is furious and aggressive, coming closer to Ministry-style industrial than the group's previous work, but other songs are slower, more atmospheric, and a bit more experimental. The songs still contain walls of searing guitar noise and thundering drums, but some of these tracks are a bit more spacious and reflective. The percolating synths on songs like "Crystal" and "Unreadable Communication" come a bit closer to the then-developing trance style, and the slower songs anticipate the direction Massive Attack (and several other trip-hop groups) would take during the course of the decade. On the gentle "Left of Mother," the group surprisingly incorporate acoustic guitars and strings, resulting in an earthly yet otherworldly combination which nevertheless sounds distinctly like Curve. "Superblaster" is a bit closer to the poppiness of Doppelgnger's highlights, and was appropriately released as a single, but given that the chorus includes the line "Have you got anything left to say before I shoot myself?," it doesn't come as much of a surprise that it wasn't a hit. Cuckoo is riskier than its predecessor, and not as catchy, but it rewards repeated listening, and still stands among the band's best work -- Halliday has even stated that she considers it to be Curve's best album. ~ Paul Simpson
Entertainment Weekly (10/29/93, p.65) - "...A good thing..." - Rating: B+
Q (10/93, p.105) - 3 Stars - Good - "...Like DOPPELGANGER, CUCKOO is a wall of thudding industrial disco...[Curve's] managed to up the decorations this time..."
Melody Maker (9/11/93, p.30) - "...Give credit where credit is due...CUCKOO is a marvel. Curve have excelled themselves; or rather, become the idea they had of themselves..."