Cousins – ‘The Palm At The End Of The Mind’

Review by Andrew Patterson

Listening to music can be complicated. Sometimes songs come at you sideways and you’re not entirely sure what you’re hearing. Is it a man’s voice? Is it a woman’s voice? Is it a robot trying to sex you up? Sometimes guitars sound like keyboards and vice versa. Sometimes keyboards look like guitars and neckties look like keyboards.

That being said, confusion induced by music can be exciting. But you know what is always more exciting than confusion? Excitement. Confused yet? Thankfully, there are bands like Cousins that understand your plight. Rather than knuckle-balling it, they send their songs sailing crisp across the plate.

Cousins are exciting: they grab their geetars, throw their bangs to the side and wail. They go bang-bang-bang on the drums. At live shows, they play their hearts out and then laugh together, rosy-cheeked like two kids playing at making it big on a cardboard-box television set in their parents basement. On their second full-length album, Halifax’s Cousins have done that terribly important thing that so many young, exciting bands fail to do: they caught it on tape.

The songs on The Palm At The End Of The Mind are righteous and pure. They are played in earnest. They tell stories with a childlike simplicity; their truths hang low enough to be grasped by anyone, and their innards are sweet enough to be savoured long after the pit has been reached. Going into specific descriptions seems too clinical for such instinctive music. Cousins play fast and fuzzy, and when the time is right, they slip into a slow, jangly meditation.

The only possible confusion that could result from listening to this album is that your mind might get to wondering how so many people get simple things like power-chords and pop songs wrong when Cousins get it so right.