Bentcousin’s self-titled album perfectly conjures up the love, loss and redemption that defines our collectives youths
“You’re not supposed to like Bentcousin” says the sticker on Bentcousin’s new self-titled album. At first this seems off putting but after its contents have started playing you realise that there isn’t really much not to like from the Twins Murray. Amelia and Patrick stories of love, rejection and redemption, might only last a meagre thirty five minutes, but there isn’t much chaff here.
Fuck the Queen opens the album in fine form. Despite the title it’s not really a scathing attack on Old Liz, nor a-decry for the monarchy to be ripped down. Musically it takes a melody indie pop route and is a rather sweet ditty about young love. Now before I get into this there are a lot of smart lyrics in this song, but the one that resonated most is “We drove for miles and miles. Two’s on cigarettes. Played your old cassettes”. This is a lyrics that 90% of adults and teenagers can relate to. As I heard it I thought of summer holiday’s driving around random parts of Dorset with mates, being joined by a collective thrill of the going nowhere in particular, but just enjoying each other’s company.
Baby You’re My Jesus has a hypnotic 60’s vibe to it and Patrick does his best Jim Morrison, while Amelia chimes in backing vocals with all the bubblegum pop you’d expect from the opening riff. The stand out moment is when they harmonise. Where Do I Belong starts to embrace more synth/electro pop than the previous five tracks. A slow burning emotional number about going home, and questioning where is actually home? Where you’re from or where you live? It also features Lord Gabe and Lo-Fye. Lord Gabe spits some great lines and Lo-Fye’s production adds a layer of stark beauty that the first half of the album doesn’t have. Rock and Roll takes on the mantle of Where Do I Belong, but its fast paced beat adds a dollop of chilled Euro-Sex-Pop. Uncertain is an acoustic sojourn filled of self-doubt and name checks a night in Soho and Valries Solanas. Not bad for a pop song right? Everything is Everything has a call and response structure as the twins trade barred
The album closes with Widening the Vision featuring post-punk legend Keith Levene. This is one of the stand out moments on the album thanks to Levene’s post-punk influence. The guitar riffs are full of menace and unease. Patrick’s monotone lyrics set everything off perfectly, but Amelia’s pop laced backing vocals give Widening the Vision the pop sheen it deserves!
One of Bentcousin’s charm is their wordplay. On Fuck the Queen displays some of the best lyrics of the album. “We made animals noises. Elephants and Seals. After we did it, we listened to John Peel” basically sums up, not just whole the album, but the band as a whole. They have a sense of humour, enjoy a bit of nooike and love Peel. This sentence sums up being a teenager perfectly. The album as a whole taps into the classic British pop tradition. While listening you can pick out elements of Billy Bragg, Lily Allen, Pet Shop Boys, Libertines to name a few.
Don’t believe everything you read, as you might miss something totally brilliant!