This article was first published on Louder Than War on 20 October 2012.
Another day, another new band to introduce you to. Get your weekend started the right way with some punchy punk pop from twins Amelia and Pat AKA Bent Cousin.
‘@sarahlay We stole our Nan’s purse. And spent her pension on cement. That we feed to penguins. And laughed as they sank. We are unpleasant.’
Unpleasant? Maybe, but Bent Cousin are by turns entertainingly surreal and boundary-pushing cheeky in their approach to getting their music heard. And heard it deserves to be.
They describe themselves as ‘cutecore/acid punk/Osmonds on cheap whizz’. I’d say this is punchy pop punk with rumbling basslines, gutsy riffs and lyrics that could cut as soon as delight you.
There is energy in these tunes, more than just the exuberance of youth (which by-the-by they have on their side) but the compelling, and compelled, energy of those who’ve found they must unleash music on the world.
Amelia’s vocal has a touch of Lily Allen, the influence of the much-missed Poly Styrene here too. There’s touches of great ’80’s pop, the attitude of punk and melodies and construction of the very best of Britpop (ie the bits that didn’t find themselves sucked into the corporate greed machine and spat out as Stars with Guitars).
They’ve smart lyrics that don’t shy away from anything – I Wanna Be Your Slave a mischievous critique of reality TV, the seediness and soullessness of making celebrities rather than musicians.
This is Bent Cousin’s way – intoxicating top tones of playfulness and fun that turn into an altogether darker trip once you’ve been pulled under by them. But once you’ve had one hit you do want to go back for more. A worthwhile addiction.
All words by Sarah Lay.