The Cure are not a band who I have mentioned a lot on these pages, which is quite surprising given how much they have been part of my music history over the years. This is something that I’m about to change here. Some of you may already be familiar with Glasgow’s Kasper Hauser. The band released their self-titled EP last year, an event which I sadly missed. I’m rectifying that now with this extended cassette re-release on Box Records, and even before I saw that the EP had a Cure cover on it (‘The Figurehead’ from the band’s 1982 album ‘Pornography’), I had Kasper Hauser down as being big Cure fans.
Yes this EP does have more than a goth element to it, and yes there are Cure flourishes all over it; but there’s more to it than that too. That it’s on Box Records sound probably tell you that there is also a edgy noise element to this album here as well. This is personified in ‘Dole Inside’ which sees dark melodies and heavy slabs of noise competing for attention and providing a veiled tension that drives there track forward.
‘Enigma’ is a fine complex track which you really have to navigate your way through, but repeated listen pay a real dividend as you strip the layers away and reveal the dark essence within. ‘The Figurehead’ is one of those covers where you can still just about detect the kernel of the original, including the vocal which shares Robert Smith intonation without completely mimicking him. This is a heavy version, and encapsulates Kasper Hauser’s approach to their music.
Moving onto the ”A’ Side’, I’ve done this out of order for a change, ‘Nicotine Blond’ is a mournful and ponderous track replete with sullen melancholy, while ‘Pencil Doings’ is a really powerful track melding up-beat jangly guitar with a veiled spoke lyric. Probably my favourite track on the album it really hits out and lands its punches. Last up, in the way I’ve played it, is ‘Tannoy’ which is dense and brooding with a nod to Killing Joke as well as The Cure to my ears.
Box Records have re-released this EP as a prelude to bring out Kasper Hauser’s debut album later in the year. On this evidence this will be something to look forward to, and another chance perhaps for me to go on about The Cure. By the way, did I mention that it’s dark?
‘Kasper Hauser EP’ is released on cassette and download by Box Records on 26th May.