HomeMusicUniversal Dice’s “Curse”

Universal Dice’s “Curse”

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If you value songwriting that you can sink your teeth into, look no further. Universal Dice’s “Curse” from their latest album Misfit Memoirs isn’t your typical retro-minded classic rock knockoff. The narrative-minded nature of the song gives listeners plenty to latch onto for the track’s duration, and the accompanying arrangement accentuates the memorable lyrical content. It’s one of the most well-rounded rock/pop efforts you’ll hear in recent memory. It looks to the past for musical inspiration, or at least some will hear it that way, but there’s another point of view that says Universal Dice freshly uses timeless strengths. Their songwriting engages the body and mind without ever lapsing into brainless cliché.

URL: https://universaldice.com/lyrics-to-curse

It’s a song that resists easy listening. Let’s clarify. “Curse” excels for several reasons, and among them is an appealing and melodic arrangement that sweetens its otherwise serious subject matter. Gerry Dantone understands that it’s necessary, at least advisable, to deliver intense emotional material with an entertaining musical setting. Treating “Curse” like a funeral dirge would undercut the song’s potential. 

However, you can’t ignore the lyrics. Familial strife is a bedrock artistic subject ranging from Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina to Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks and myriad other works in assorted mediums. Dantone’s look into that dark realm doesn’t traffic in making listeners comfortable. He presents the emotional tone of both “speakers” with unforgiving pointedness and doesn’t offer them an obvious way out. Search elsewhere if you’re looking for Hollywood-style happy conclusions. 

If you’re looking for an invigorating emotional experience on both a lyrical and musical level, you’re in the right place. You can’t help but finish this song believing you’ve heard a truly human moment depicted in a musical setting. There’s hardly any better praise you can bestow upon the track.

Bob Barcus’ guitar playing provides an excellent counterpoint to Dantone’s vocals. There are several points in the song where you can hear their interplay, never pronounced, as a sort of duet with Barcus’ work supplying an instrumental response to Dantone’s nuanced vocal phrasing. The acoustic guitar running throughout the performance is a steady rhythmic accompaniment, and the band as a whole shows immense chemistry throughout the cut. 

It isn’t difficult to imagine this song succeeding in a live setting with minimal adaptation. The studio proves to be no obstacle to achieving a “live” sound. Misfit Memoirs is the band’s fifth release, and the core unit responsible for its end result has the benefit of many years playing together. They have long since gelled into a cohesive musical entity that can address themselves to any musical setting. 

This first single from the new album promises a lot from the outset and never disappoints. Dantone may lead the way with his storytelling acumen and songwriting skills, but it isn’t a glorified solo project. Universal Dice is the real deal as a traditional band. “Curse” hints that this new opus may be the band’s peak moment, but you finish hearing this song certain that they have many more productive years ahead. 

Heather Savage

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