Friday, December 30, 2011

Cousins on The Noyes Records singles series

The Noyes Record subscription series is still going strong and their latest from Cousins came in just before the holidays. In the same ways Yuck or Broken Water...or fellow subscription series-mates, Dog Day, this duo from Halifax is mining the attitude and guitar tones of the nineties. "Secret Weapon" on the A-Side carries the ramshakle good times of Pavement with a loose, gritty electric blaring out of a broken practice amp from the right side of the stereo. The percussion jerky, odd timings and slightly distorted at times, high falsetto vocal from Aaron Mangle gives this a less than deadly serious delivery which makes them immediately likable. When you can coax out a near perfect rhythm like this, the combination of gutsy muted strumming with double time ceramic (?) cowbell  it doesn't need any extra dressing up, the simple capturing of this rimshot stomper is plenty. It's not getting into anything near lo-fi, but the exact right amount room sound and immediacy, and more importantly precise, catchy songwriting. That's what reminds me of Dog Day, The Hussy or another 'related' band, Blood on the Wall...there's pure classic innovation pouring out of these guys.
B-Side's "Speech", brings out a bit more of this raw practice room, garage side. There's some kind of down the hall sound from a record being played...or someone singing and a bluesy blown out garage number blasts in. This combination of Aaron's high vocal under heavy reverb, this elegant almost frail vocal alongside this scuzzy guitar is a great crazy direction, not to say he can't completely belt this out when the drums, with all fills take this solidly into the red. A raw sound expanding on the loose groove....I think that might be Leigh Dotey on drums, if the video below is the current line up.

Fantastic single, playful and stripped down, elements of garage and loose indie-rock, but classically all in service of the songwriting.

Damn this came out a while ago and should have been in contention for the year end thingys, but that isn't what this is about, they deserve to be picked up from Noyes Records...another solid edition to the singles need more reasons?

Get this one direct from Noyes Records.

COUSINS - Speech from Mitch Fillion ( on Vimeo.

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