Issue January 14, 2014

Heavy Hearts

Cousins
SELF-RELEASED

The quartet offers up a more melodic interpretation of punk stalwarts Fugazi, eschewing savage guitar feedback for sing-along harmonies. All said, Heavy Hearts is an entirely accessible affair, and everything is in its right place. The guitar work is more often than not drenched in distortion, the choruses are soaring, the drums hit hard and heavy, and the vocals carry the show, but meekly, as if to subvert conventional pop tropes; any child of the ’90s would find themselves right at home here. Despite a few slightly odd time changes, there isn’t much to challenge here (although this is most likely an intentional distinction, and not necessarily a bad one at that). The final product owes as much to Dischord Records as it does to the not-quite-country twang of Neil Young, whose influence seems apparent throughout.