Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Cousin - Alternate Tunings For Regular People EP

EP review by

Instrumental math-rock/noise-rock are those types of sub-genres where you either feel it, or you don't. With complex rhythms, unstandardized time signatures and harsh, out of tune guitar chords, math-rockers tend to walk a very fine line between coming across completely misunderstood and being pretty damn awesome. With that being said, you've got to be brave, you've got to be bold and you've got to be clever about it, especially when you're involved in a genre that has a tight, almost underground following but is very much underrated. Queue Brighton-based instrumental math/slacker-rock three-piece Cousin (composed of Chris Blakey - guitar, Orpheas Zoupanos - guitar and Alex Uren on drums) and their new six-track EP 'Alternate Tunings For Regular People' which is a riffage dream (or nightmare) depending on which side of the math-rock fence you are currently sitting. The EP opens with 'Caught Short in Krakow' which is standardly loud, fronted by rambunctious guitar chords and followed by a slightly discordant drum beat. Despite the dissonance of the guitars there is something almost melodic about the harmonic disarray.

Slightly less intense, 'Coffee Malts' follows with a more relaxed prog-rock vibe to it, quite a cool song to chill to which invoked tingly vibes of summer for me. 'Fourth Four Balcony Flight' sounds a whole lot like its predecessor to the extent where both tracks run so smoothly into one another I didn't realise the song had changed! Then there's 'Cold Sweats In A Thermal Jacket' which begins with flashes of an almost regular indie-pop song until the repetitive guitar structure and drum beats kick in, and is probably the least engaging song on the EP (sorry guys). 'Alternate Tunings For Regular People' wraps up with two beautiful tracks that cross the noise-rock divide to meet common ground with post-rock/metal. 'Post Relationship Feedback' is quite dark but a melodical treat for the ears.  But the winner for me is the closer 'Fussball Politics' with its super-catchy, groove-infused hooks it reverbs through you in exactly the right way. Off the back of this EP, continuing to grow beyond what is already a solid fanbase should be easy for these guys, they know what they are doing and they do it well. The question is, will it be widely appreciated? Only time will tell.

Cousin's website

Stream or buy the EP

Catch them live:

4th July - La Cantine de Belleville, Paris
5th July - 5th Avenue Bar, Orleans
6th July – Reims
17th July – Green Door Store, Brighton

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