Kissing Cousins Get Salty

[rating:7.5/10]

vbm_release_132_press_cover

After a handful of EPs, Kissing Cousins release their full length debut, Pillar of Salt, this week. As in their previous releases, the band rocks their brand of tenacious girl-fronted garage rock for fans of PJ Harvey, The White Stripes, The Breeders, and early Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

In previous reviews I likened the band to Portishead at times, but on this release that comparisons seems a bit off. The raw power and fierceness of Pillar pushes the sound entirely out of any trip-hop comparisons… yet, the sultry vocals that initially brought upon the comparison have not gone anywhere. That said, the sound is really not much different than of the 4 EPs release previously on VBM, but the songs just seem to slap me across the face a bit more than I remember.

What is different about this release? Two things that stand out immediately. The first (and most obvious) is that the band proved they are able to put together a solid full length, something they had previously never done. The second big thing is the acappella choral track “Snake Handler” which impresses with it’s live church choir feel and odd title.

The was a wonderfully interesting bit in their presskit that I am sharing with all of you because of how much it says about the band and Pillar of Salt:

The band’s music is largely influenced by Heywood’s complications growing up in the home of her step-dad, a southern Pentecostal preacher in Alabama. The congregation was predominantly poor and black and Heywood was imprinted with the musical aesthetics of desperation and sorrow. Heywood was influenced by soulful and woeful music in addition to witnessing some most confusing situations like exorcisms, speaking in tongues, and parishioners being “slain in the spirit.” Heywood was tormented as she grew older and realized her normal life wasn’t so normal and that there were a myriad of ways to understand life. This wounded spirituality was her muse as she crafted the Cousin’s songs. Tracks like “First in the Fire” and “Snake Handler” are prime examples of this. ‘Pillar of Salt’ is both a haunting and hopeful exploration of music.

Overall, a solid outing that breaks the mold. You see, I have always found that Velvet Blue’s EP releases have been more solid than the LPs… but here is where I have been forced to reevaluate that. Kissing Cousins have put together a very strong debut album that highlights the dual female voice, both brutal and beautiful… gutt wrenching and torso ripping, all the while wooing you into submission with the a cool, calm sexiness. While chick rock is admittedly not my forte, I know what I like and I do like this album.

Download Free Track: “In Too Deep”

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~ by thepaintedman on June 8, 2009.

5 Responses to “Kissing Cousins Get Salty”

  1. […] this week, expect an interview with Heather of Kissing Cousins, a review of Ultrachrist!, a look at the Purplish Rain, and some beer for good measure (the new […]

  2. […] last week I was incredibly off. I can say that you can expect an interview with Heather from Kissing Cousins and a VBM update tomorrow. I have a whole bunch of reviews in the works, I’d expect UUVVWWZ to […]

  3. […] No need for an intro… without further ado, here’s Heather from Kissing Cousins… […]

  4. […] -Kissing Cousins “Pillar of Salt” (Check out the TPM review here) […]

  5. […] -Pillar of Salt being released on vinyl in August. Details to come. […]

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