The best Garbage album ever made is "Doppleganger," which was actually recorded by Curve in 1992. Sure, we're rife with female-fronted rocktronica acts these days, but back then, Curve—raccoon-eyed, breathy-voiced babe Toni Halliday and multi-instrumentalist/programming whiz Dean Garcia—was pretty much the only outfit working that groove. The two were introduced by Eurythmic Dave Stewart and were in a short-lived, late-'80s outfit called State of Play before reconnecting a few years later as Curve.

The band got its start with a few indie-released EPs (later gathered onto the "Pubic Fruit" LP) which were commercial and critical hits, but they were also criticized for not really being part of the indie "scene." Halliday had been courted by major labels since she was a teen and later paid the bills by singing backup for Hall & Oates and Robert Plant; Garcia had played guitar for the Eurythmics and bass for Mick Jagger and Tom Petty, among many others. Not exactly NME hipster credentials, but Garcia's sonic skils and Halliday's most do-able chick in rock status held off most of the complaints.

The Curve sound was comparable to other contemporary female-fronted guitar-noise acts like Lush and My Bloody Valentine, but Curve's addition of dense dance beats, cascades of electronic effects and studio gloss set them apart. "Doppleganger," Curve's first full-length album, was produced by the ubiquitous Flood (who's done his duty for everyone from Erasure to U2) and engineered by influential noise guru Alan Moulder (who's twiddled the knobs for everyone from Suicide to Moby, and whom Halliday later married).

"Doppleganger" was lauded on both sides of the Atlantic for tracks like the bombastic, churning, guitar-glinted "Already Yours"; "Horror Head," on which Halliday shows off her ability to make merely breathing into a melodic exercise; and the slow-burning, ominous yet sexy title cut. The 1994 follow-up, "Cuckoo," featured accessible rock like the futuristic, girl group-y "Missing Link" (Garbage pretty much stole everything from this one song), the ethereal, proto-ambient "All of One" and the distressing sonic epic "Turkey Crossing."

Then, for the next few years: nothing. Halliday went on to work with a variety of dance/electronic artists like Leftfield, Freaky Chakra and Paul Van Dyk while Garcia kept busy with session and, increasingly, production work. Then, perhaps trying to steal back some thunder, Curve returned in 1998 with "Come Clean"—more of a straight techno album than their previous efforts, but darker and sexier with Garcia's time behind the board showinf a definite effect. Currently, Curve seems to be defunct once more: The duo's current project is Headcase, a foray into drum n' bass/trip-hop land with an album due to be released any damn minute now.


  • Fait Acompli
  • Horror Head

    <<< back  |  next >>>