Who would have guessed these guys liked black?
has been getting gloomy, doomy, and occasionally happy for 30 years now. There are plenty of great records in its discography – the career-defining Pornography
, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
– and plenty of crappy ones (we’ll start with 2004’s self-titled dud). Robert Smith dresses up his songs just like he makes up his face: by piling on tons of artificial colors that can make the whole package glow. Singles compilations don’t get much better than the Cure’s 1986 set, Standing on a Beach
But the Cure can also be a complex album act. For every “Boys Don’t Cry,” there’s a 7-minute plodding epic buried deep in the record. And for some reason, Smith chooses to fill his band’s marathon three-hour live shows with these cuts. They’re just as cloudy and as boring as anything the Grateful Dead has done onstage
Still, this is one of modern-rock’s greatest bands – one that often sabotages its own legend by defying expectations. The Cure doesn’t always pull it off. But with its very best songs (“Just Like Heaven” rightfully holds a special place in the hearts of millions of fans), the band hits that place between dreamy and druggy. --Michael Gallucci
The Cure plays the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University (2000 Prospect Avenue) at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 18. Tickets range from $37.50 to $57.50, available by calling 216-241-5555. For a preview, listen to “The Lovecats” below.