Universal Dice’s Amazing New Single “Curse”

Universal Dice’s amazing new single “Curse” is an early harbinger of the band’s forthcoming album release Misfit Memoirs. Gerry Dantone’s songwriting ambitions remain as vibrant and far-reaching as ever. Those ambitions are buttressed by a solid and well-developed musical arrangement that complements Dantone’s lyrical aims. The lyrics are laid out as a two-part dialogue with one character answering another and the conceptual conceit implies that Dantone builds the forthcoming Misfit Memoirs around an overarching narrative. It doesn’t inhibit the listener’s ability, however, to appreciate “Curse” on its own isolated merits.

The single boasts a classic rock ballad sound from the outset while generating steadfast, inexorable energy. There’s nothing rushed about the performance, however, and the considered manner that Universal Dice adopts for delivering the tune accentuates its deep wealth of underlying emotion. They opt for a classic configuration with acoustic guitar providing the song’s bedrock and building it upwards from that one key component. The steady strum of the aforementioned acoustic is well-represented in the mix while being thoroughly integrated with the song’s other elements.

The lyrics are convincing as an exchange between two characters with one conveying their sentiments during the first half of the song while the second commands our attention during the song’s second half. It is a dialogue between a disgruntled parent and child with both parties consumed by mutual hurts as well. Anger and resentment are bedfellows with despair during the song’s first portion while heartache dominates the second. Dantone doesn’t vary his delivery between the two to any radical degree, but there are enough differences to make each part stand on its own.

Bob Barcus’ lead guitar certainly stands out. He holds back for much of the tune, adding an assortment of appropriate fills over top of the acoustic rhythm track, but his contributions are especially key during the final half of the track. He helps strengthen an already vivid classic rock vibe that runs rife throughout “Curse”.

Universal Dice has always aimed high with their prior releases and “Curse” is no exception. They engage adult themes rather than centering their songwriting on disposable subjects that ultimately offer a few minutes of entertainment for listeners before dissolving into the ether. “Curse” examines dark family dynamics in a way that compels us to listen on and pulls no punches while doing so.

We can expect that the whole of Misfit Memoirs will do the same. Gerry Dantone and Universal Dice’s conceptual leanings are in full evidence here and, despite not knowing the full import of their album to come, it isn’t a stretch to see how “Curse” fits into that design. If so, it’s an excellent start. Dantone and his bandmates aren’t relics or dinosaurs from a bygone era, not by any estimation, but they adhere to an exalted view of music’s possibilities increasingly scant in such fragmented times. “Curse” is a steady reprove against the transient and ephemeral and we’re all the better for it. Check it out today and you’re sure to agree that, no matter whatever faults you may find, Universal Dice believes in what they’re doing. 

Nicole Killian

Avatar photo

About Author /

Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

Start typing and press Enter to search