Weekly Abysmal Video – 6/2/10

This week’s WAV comes from one of my fave bands from the early 90’s…with ties as diverse as Robert Plant and Eurythmics.   Singer Toni Halliday and multi-instrumentalist Dean Garcia met through mutual friend Dave Stewart of Eurythmics.  Halliday did guest vocals on Robert Plant’s 1985 release Shaken N Stirred, while Garcia went on tour with Eurythmics.  In 1990 they formed Curve and, while they never rose above cult status, they were a major influence on more mainstream artists like Garbage.

Curve’s early releases were on Stewart’s Anxious Records label and featured some brilliant songwriting along with Halliday’s alternately strong and vulnerable vocals.  This is one of my favorite tracks of theirs, from their 1993 release Cuckoo. Halliday and Garcia both said they all wound up with the flu after the video shoot. Ahh, what we will do in the name of art.

Enjoy Abysmally…



Curve – Doppelganger

Curve_Doppelganger_Cover 1992 Charisma Records

I first fell in love with Curve singer Toni Halliday’s voice on Robert Plant’s playful and very underrated ‘Shaken N Stirred’ CD.  Her rich, playful and sensuous voice was the perfect foil for Plant, and was the sole reason I bought this CD when it came out…having never heard a note Curve played and having no idea whatsoever what to expect.  I personally find her to be one of the all-time most truly sexy female singers ever.    Pure, honest sensuality and confidence…and a certain mysterious edge that I admittedly find intriguing.

1992 was a time when grunge was king and ‘alternative’ became such an all-encompassing term that it never was clearly defined.   There was a lot of great music that got lost in the shuffle during this time, and Curve remains one of my very favorite unsung bands from this era.

It has been said in various forums that Curve was a major influence on Garbage, with Garbage being the more commercial of the two bands and there apparently being very public mutual respect between them.    If you’ve never heard Curve before, imagine Garbage with a more abrasive musical backdrop…electronic/industrial-tinged dance beats with wave-like bass lines and much more abrasive guitar.

Personally, I love the way Halliday’s voice works as a foil (once again) here, her rich melodies and vocal range almost daring you to endure the controlled chaos of sound that is the backbone of their music.   “Fait Accompli” was the first video from this disc and this link will bring you to it on YouTube.   I just love her voice here (and her aforementioned sensuous presence), and it’s a nice introduction to their music if you’re new to it.

The whole disc has great depth, with songs like “Ice That Melts the Tips,” “Split into Fractions,” and “Wish You Dead” barrelling relentlessly forward…equal parts sweet and sour.    Curve is one of very few bands whose music and overall sound is something I can feel beyond mere surface excitement.   It just gives me chills without fail.

I could go on and on, but I’ll wind this up by giving props to the masterpiece of this disc, “Horror Head.” Probably my fave song of the whole Curve catalogue with Halliday’s absolutely gorgeous and haunting voice leading off the song and bringing you to a place you’ve never been before.

Like all the best music tends to do.

Rating:  5 out of 5

CLICK HERE to buy Doppelgänger

Something extra for you: Check out this link for Curve’s incredible version of “I Feel Love” by Donna Summer.   I know, I know…it’s an old disco song.  I don’t care.   Toni Halliday rules and this is really, really cool.