Through the course of Cursive's sophomore full-length, listeners get to endure raging tempests, sermons that inquire more than they preach, and finally, a lull with the onset of a new season. With Tim Kasher on guitar/vocals; Matt Maginn on bass; Stephen Pederson on guitar, and Clint Schnase drumming, the Omaha-based band divides its songs into two acts: man vs. nature, and man vs. himself, straying from one-shot efforts on Such Blinding Stars for Starving Eyes and establishing a loosely based concept album. A lot of the songs on this release seem to harp on the idea of being frustrated with incomplete thoughts and, like many so-called emo bands, the inability to put together the right string of words to accurately describe a feeling. See "The Rhyme Scheme" and "The Semantics of Sermon." Though his voice is unbearably whiny at times, Kasher's lyrics are right on target and clever, showing hints of self-deprecating humor and offering apologies for the limitations of their chosen art form -- the math rock/pop song structure -- which becomes more pronounced in Cursive's later releases. While Cursive incorporate many of the same devices that bands like Fugazi, Chavez, and Burning Airlines have used, The Storms of Early Summer is ultimately a great melodic rock album with angular rhythms and explosive guitar work that tells a story of confronting frustration and loss and asking what it takes to keep forging through one's daily existence.
AllMusic Review by Brendan Dabkowski