by Richard Hart
Playful, inventive and a bit messy, Bentcousin are, according to their imaginative website “twins born magically in different decades”. Amelia and Pat Innit are twenty two year old musicians who play a folk-punk signed to the Team Love label.
Wry, surreal humour, highly British lyrics and a funky sound that plays a little bit like Brooklyn’s Friends sees Bentcousin range from the sweetly romantic “bentpaperboy” where the female vocalist delivers the male lines to the rangy punk of “Slade”.
There’s something sweet about the female vocals which are a soft “speak singing” style with a London accent. The male vocals are stronger and sound a bit fiercer, much more punky in their sound. In terms of the music the band play a tightly layered chain of guitar and precussion, weaving around their quirky, funny and occasionally clunky lyrics.
At times Bentcousin’s lyrics are like improvised beat poetry, with crazy couplets being thrown around like handfuls of glitter. Occasionally they fall badly on the ground and explode, giving the band a kind of renegade, patchwork style.
Bent Paper Boy is a comical, sweet ride through Britians landscapes, playing out a little like “Ben Folds Five” but with a distinctly British tone of voice and lots of references towards the more prosaic things in this country.
Slade is a more punchy, punk sound which is built around a rocking drum beat and is lead by the male vocalist. There’s also a catchy fun chorus and this could be a fine choice to feature for the band’s first single in the future.
The cheeky “I Quit You” is another lyrical tale which has a great sense of humour. The lyrics are teasingly playful as she lists his faults “you started slagging me to my mum, and that’s not fun”.
Faster paced and perhaps played with more of a Ska tone “F.O.R.G.E.T” sounds a lot like Friends and has a catchy, fun chorus. Glittery Joe has lots of fun with its lyrical tale where the female vocals talk about how she threw glitter on someone. This track does feature several moments where the lyrics seem a bit too clever for their own good.
The final track “I Think I Like Your Girlfriend More than You” is a sweet and clever song that has a slower, wistful tune which plays out to an acoustic guitar tone. The lyrics speak to a phenomen that most people have seen and whilst the EP features some fairly downbeat themes, the fun loving nature of the lyrics and music mean it’s a very upbeat listen.
Short, punchy, idiosyncratic and above all a lot of fun, this is a great debut E.P which will snare fans from folk, punk and other genres. The bustling London music scene just got another contestant but Bentcousin are going to have fun no matter what else happens.
But I don’t think they really are twins….