Concept album about sexuality from Nebraska quintet

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Cursive – The Ugly Organ

This is a very odd album. Lyrics chronicling masturbation and murder with music that is a freaky hybrid of The Cure’s goth whimsy and Fugazi’s serrated aggression. While slightly bombastic and overwrought, Tim Kasher’s tremulous narratives steer this largely compelling album into the territory of fellow-Nebraskan Conor Oberst aka Bright Eyes. Incredibly, prog-rock scales are united with fairground organs (“Butcher Song”), but Grette Cohn’s scraping cello is revelatory and their kinetic force sees them through.