Cursor Major – Interloper (EP) (Bellicose Records)


Though some may recognise Andy Norton from the John Peel-championed act The Crimea, 2014 sees him front retro-wave rousing pop group, Cursor Major.

Earlier this week, Cursor Major was named ‘New Band of The Day’ in The Guardian and for good reason.

The Guardian described them as “herky-jerky new wave pop”. Similarly, the press release for the band’s forthcoming debut EP, Interloper, describes the 4-track release as “a circus of casio keyboards, twisted pop guitar lines and dark humour”. And we’d have to agree.

If we had to sum Cursor Major up, we’d say they’re a fusion of XTC and The Futureheads (circa News And Tributes).

Almost at odds with the other 3 tracks on the EP, Positively Negative kicks things off with a glam rock swagger like that of The New York Dolls. A bass and drum bop is paired with jaggered indie-rock guitars before Norton levels things out with a sugar-coated falsetto chorus. An energetic start but not really indicative of Interlopper as a whole.

With its Joy Division-like beginning, the brilliant Give Up The Ghost gives us the first proper introduction. A lively post-punk meets new-wave number (just wait for the kitschy synth bridge) that bounces with energy, Give Up The Ghost is all about the song’s riotous, punk-tinged chorus.

The verses of EP highlight track Red Light Fever recall Futureheads with a hint of Vampire Weekend before, from seemingly out of nowhere, the song swerves in a whole other direction delivering a glorious, new wave, anthem-ready chorus. Indie-rock doesn’t get much catchier than this. Brilliant stuff.

Final number, Floating Around, is a buzzing, synth-driven number but as with the previous two tracks, the verses of  lead you one way, while the chorus takes you another. In this case, the industrial-flavoured verse and pre-chorus give way to yet another magnificent 80’s-flavoured chorus, and one that would make Tears For Fears and Howard Jones proud.

Each of the four songs on Interloper are sculpted to perfection, each with tiny quirks that keep the listener on their toes, but never risk feeling contrived or overcooked in attempt to appear “interesting” or “arty”. Interloper may just be the most fun indie-rock has sounded in some time.

Written and recorded in Bristol with additional production from Kieron Pepper (Dead Kids / Prodigy) and final mixes from Tim Allen (Bat for Lashes), Interloper is set release for 24 March, 2014. Pre-orders are available via Bellicose Records or Bandcamp now.

Watch the video below for Red Light Fever below: