Not “the Curve” just CURVE. Okay, so I found this band’s music to be thrilling and nostalgic retro rock. I heard them first while watching a streamer between his matches on a horror game. The music definitely fits that genre and so, I went to his Bandcamp account and looked them up.
Sadly, they are no longer together and creating music. The good news is, they are releasing remixes of their songs and remastered versions of the originals.
They were originally a rock and electronica duo from London: Toni Halliday (vocals, occasionally guitar) and Dean Garcia (bass, guitar, drums, programming). Halliday also wrote the lyrics of their songs and they both contributed to the songwriting.
An important collaborator was producer Alan Moulder, who helped them to shape their blend of heavy beats, densely layered guitar tracks, and vocals. They formed in 1990 and split in 2005. We still have their remixes and remastered music to enjoy on Bandcamp, though!
Dean Garcia, half Hawaiian and half Irish, had played in some small bands when he auditioned for Eurythmics. The English-born Toni Halliday met Dave Stewart of Eurythmics after he had read a rock magazine interview with her in which she praised his pre-Eurythmics band, The Tourists.
Halliday and Garcia were introduced to each other by Stewart. The coming together of these two solo artists would bring about some amazing music, but also lead to some tumultuous times for the two.
As Curve, Halliday and Garcia released music through Anxious Records. They also made an impact with their 1992 debut studio album Doppelgänger. The group toured extensively during this period, with Halliday and Garcia being supported on stage by two additional guitarists.
Curve’s second studio album, Cuckoo was released in 1993 but wasn’t as successful even though they had embarked on quite a stressful promotional tour. Therefore the group was disbanded in 1994.
Curve returned to the music business in 1996 with the EP Pink Girl With the Blues. In the same year, Curve collaborated with Paul Van Dyk by reworking the mostly instrumental song “Words” from the album Seven Ways and also adding Halliday’s vocals. In 1997, they released “Chinese Burn”, the first single to be taken from their third studio album Come Clean which was officially released in 1998.
The album had more electronic music than anything released before it. Curve continued to do small-scale live shows in and around Europe. The follow-up to Come Clean was Gift, their fourth studio album.
In 2002, Curve released the internet-only fifth studio album The New Adventures of Curve, and various download-only tracks via their official site. In 2003, Toni Halliday collaborated with the industrial rock Japanese band Acid Android on the song “Faults” from the album with the same name.
A two-CD retrospective compilation entitled The Way of Curve summarized the group’s output in 2004. The first disc included the band’s singles. The second disc contained a selection of B-sides, rarities, and remixes. In early 2005, Halliday announced that she had left Curve for good.
In 2010, Curve published some of their most important releases as digital downloads on their Bandcamp page, including a new compilation with 39 songs entitled Rare and Unreleased. In 2017 Curve re-released the Doppelganger CD as a double album. This release included their first three EPs. The Cuckoo album was also re-released as a double album and included, amongst other songs, several remixes.
The band’s website, maintained by Garcia, has at various times since 2004 posted updates on projects by Halliday and Garcia. It has also stated that there is unlikely to be future new Curve music. Luckily, Garcia still releases remastered and remixed Curve music on Bandcamp from time to time and announced those on the Facebook Page.
Garcia also puts out his own brand of music – take a listen to SPC ECO 2020 Series on Soundcloud.
STYLE AND INFLUENCE
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic described Curve’s style as a “towering monolith of guitar noise, dance tracks, dark goth, and airy melodies”. Halliday cited Patti Smith and Nico, plus Siouxsie and the Banshees.
Toni Halliday has occasionally commented on the comparisons between Curve and Garbage, stating that she could “see bits of Garbage in what we’ve done, just like we see bits of Sonic Youth or the Valentines or really any band that was doing something supposedly outside the norm. But eventually, Garbage is a pop band, and Curve was never a pop band.”
COLLABORATIONS & CONNECTIONS
Like a lot of artists, and especially those from the past – Curve music can be found in many video games and also in motion picture soundtracks. As a matter of fact, I first heard their music while watching one of my favorite gamers. They have a track called “Worst Mistake” on the game Frequency (a music-based puzzle game on PlayStation 2).
The Capcom game MotoGP 09/10 includes an instrumental version of “Want More Need Less”. The 1995 film The Doom Generation included the track “On The Wheel”. The song “Hell Above the Water” was featured in the games Gran Turismo 4 and MotorStorm.
“Hell Above the Water” has been used in trailers for the 2002 film Spider-Man and the 2008 film Iron Man. Also, it featured in the 2004 film Mindhunters, an episode for the popular crime drama CSI (Episode 207, “Caged”), and the 2008 film Lakeview Terrace. “Chinese Burn” is playing while Buffy and Faith are dancing in The Bronze during the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode “Bad Girls”.
And a remix of the song by Lunatic Calm is featured on the soundtrack of FIFA 2001. Fun Fact: Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine also played guitar on the songs “Want More Need Less” and “Perish”.
ORIGINAL SONGS or DISCOGRAPHY
- Doppelgänger 1992
- Cuckoo 1993
- Come Clean 1998
- Gift 2001
- The New Adventures of Curve 2002
- Pubic Fruit 1992
- Radio Sessions 1993
- The Way of Curve 2004
- Rare and Unreleased 2010
- Paul Van Dyk – “Words” (Curved Headcase remix)
- Tubeway Army – “Down in the Park” (Curve remix)
- The Cure – “Just Say Yes” (Curve remix)
The Curve never really got back together, but they are continuing to upload remixes to their best work. You can keep track on Facebook whenever they release something new or do as I do and follow them on Bandcamp, where they sell their remixes.
FIND OUT MORE
If you are searching for more Untapped Sounds then be sure to check out the articles on other Unsigned Artists.