Gerry Dantone-led Universal Dice Releases “Curse”

I confess my familiarity with Universal Dice isn’t great. It’s only recently that I first became acquainted with their music and, as such, the experience still has a fresh hold on me. However, I can’t help but believe that longtime fans of the Gerry Dantone-led outfit will greet their new single “Curse” from the band’s new collection Misfit Memoirs with fulsome enthusiasm.

Few standalone songs are as complete. Dantone has composed a winning track that works on multiple levels rather than pushing one or two buttons for listeners. It boasts a classic sound without ever aping any specific band or past track; experienced music listeners with a broad frame of reference will find it appealing. Newcomers will hear an immediately accessible performance that, nevertheless, does make some demands on the audience.


They are demands that make for a more fulfilling outing. “Curse” involves listeners in a song fraught with high emotional stakes rather than peddling a trite paint-by-numbers drama befitting lesser pop songs. The unreserved intensity of the dialogue between the song’s two characters never flinches and gives listeners little respite.

It moves the heart. It also reaches frightening intensity thanks to the songwriting’s plainspoken nature. I admire Dantone’s willingness to pull no punches, and the band manifests an equal willingness to follow him into this daring territory. There’s nothing fundamentally revolutionary about “Curse”. The elements he draws from for success are tried-and-true, even predictable. Dantone and his bandmates use them in such an effective fashion that you can’t help but be pulled into its web.

“Curse” by UniversalDice, the first single from “Misfit Memoirs.”

The video for “Curse,” the first single from UniversalDice’s upcoming album “Misfit Memoirs.” This will be their 5th album release. The song is a dialogue between parents and their child, who they have rejected. Why did they reject the child? Listen to the song.

It gains weight rather than bloats thanks to its length. Running over five minutes long doesn’t make it radio-friendly, short attention span listeners need not apply, but that isn’t Universal Dice’s target audience. “Curse” is far from a highbrow track. However, it does aim for an audience that asks, even craves, more for their music than the customary.

Dantone’s singing finds the mark on that score. The hushed, sometimes literal, focus he brings to his performance behooves you to listen. It’s a lot like a compelling shot in a memorable movie where the camerawork is so spot-on that you can’t turn away. You don’t want to. Universal Dice, far beyond Dantone’s contributions alone, are musical magicians who conjure powerful sorcery from seemingly simple materials.


Listen to Curse on Spotify. UniversalDice · Single · 2024 · 1 songs.

It’s an ever-timely reminder that less is more. Or, as said in music before, it’s what you don’t play that matters. “Curse” never bites off more than it can chew despite its obvious ambition. I’m gratified to know that there are still powerful musical units on the scene that can make listeners feel and take their artistic mandate with the utmost seriousness. “Curse” foregoes mindless entertainment to expose listeners to a side of life that they might otherwise ignore.

However, they’ll come away edified once they’ve heard it. There was a time when modern music harbored several bands like Universal Dice. Those bands viewed traditional “classic” rock as a promising vehicle for exploring adult emotions and scenarios capable of illuminating life for listeners. Universal Dice are keepers of a flame, and “Curse” makes it burn a little brighter than before.

Clay Burton