Sound — 10
This is the Burst and Bloom EP, the filler between Domestica and Ugly Organ, and as far as the sound goes it's basically a combination of the two albums, though more heavily leaning toward Domestica. This is the first album featuring cellist Gretta Cohn, and the cello is a big-yet-not-overbearing part of the sound here. You'll hear what is probably the last leg of Cursive's lesser-produced, more raw sound here(not counting Houses/Homes) before they kicked it up a notch on the brilliant Ugly Organ and then later on Happy Hollow(meh). Slightly better production than on Domestica though, sounds a little cleaner but still has just the right amount of dirt. Cursive proved that time has only made them better here.
Lyrics — 10
Tim Kasher shines here, as always. He knew he was writing this EP to fill in the gap between the two aforementioned albums, so while not going lyrically all-out, he decided to start off his tradition of giving it to you straight up on the very first track: "Clint steps in to establish the beat/4/4 hip hop and you don't stop/this unique approach to start an EP/intended to shock, create a mystique/a cheap strategy, a marketing scheme/building awareness for the next LP/they've got a good fan base/they've got integrity/they've got a DC sound/Shudder to Think, Fugazi/and Chapel Hill Around The Early '90s/this is the latest from Saddle Creek." And the other songs have their moments as well. But to make up for the slight drop in lyrical quality from Domestica is Tim's signature delivery, which is his own unique way of singing through drunken slurring and yelling. Sound pretty? Probably not, but if anybody else tried to do this it wouldn't sound half as good. Tim's voice is absolutely perfect for the album.
Overall Impression — 10
Burst And Bloom really only compares to its prequel and sequel, nothing else. We play this EP and we are automatically given proof that Cursive are truly a unique band, they created their own style, instantly recognizable, everything flows beautifully, and the ugly stuff never sounded so good. I like the album as a whole, though I like The Great Decay(as heard in Emogame) and Mothership, Mothership, Do You Read Me? the most. I can't find anything to hate on here, I really do love this album and this band. If this were stolen, someone would get a folding chair to the head on their way out of my house. I highly recommend this to anybody who is interested in listening to Cursive (this is an excellent starting point) and anybody who wants proof that Nebraska isn't just a giant farm.