COUSINS – The Palm at the End of the Mind

In the last few years, Halifax’s Cousins–or as they seem to prefer, COUSINS–have steadfastly played their way higher and higher in the national echelons of what we don’t like to call (but have to for lack of a better term) “indie rock.” From the full length Out on Town from a few years back, to the split Duz/Cuz cassette with Duzheknew, to the recent Singing/Drums cassette, Cousins frontman Aaron Mangle is consistently proving himself a master of simple, guitar-drums, minimal guitar pop. In those aforementioned echelons of “indie rock”, it’s easy to forget the “rock” part. Cousins take great delight in reminding us of rock and roll. This latest, The Palm at the End of the Mind, will doubtlessly be heard by a much wider audience than the band’s other releases, after a week at SXSW, an American tour, and a steady stream of press/blog love. At the core of the songs is a great ear for composition, a really unique voice, powerful grooves, and layers of textured, heavy distorted guitar chords that, stripped bare as they are, sound like no other distorted guitar chords you’ve ever heard. I think the beautiful cacophony of Mangle and drummer Leigh Dotey will be heard far and wide for the foreseeable future. Whatever it is they’re doing, it sounds good to me.

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