Punk Online

COUSIN BONELESS – ‘Possession’ Album Review


Cousin BonelessFormed in 2013, in the streets of Pittsburgh, PA, Cousin Boneless create a distinctive sound that dances between the ardent and the macabre. Weaving together an energetic mix of punk and folk, their poignant lyrics dig into the struggles of our culture and times, while their atmospheric and darkly crafted sound is calculated and gripping.

Heavily entrenched in the DIY folk and punk communities where their music first took form, Cousin Boneless maintain their viciously DIY ethos, having promoted and toured their music tirelessly since their inception. Playing alongside folk punk staples such as Days N Daze, Jayke Orvis, Blackbird Raum, Rail Yard Ghosts, and Wood Spider, while accruing a myriad of members, instruments, and sounds along the way, they have toured across both Europe and North America.

After spending years as an exclusively acoustic band, Cousin Boneless have transformed on their latest full-length offering, Possession (released June 7th) as they display on the opening track Nithing Pole with its banjos and snarled vocals meeting a massive wall of noise about half-way through to deliver a Gogol Bordello like climax with trumpets, waltz beats and screamed vocals – WOW!!!

Pretty Cemetery is a raucous romp with shouted vocals and full on music including a number of brass instruments, accordions, guitars, banjos and drums to create a gypsy punk atmosphere. The more accessible Satyr’s Crown has a weird ghost like backing vocal and a marching beat whereas Null Set sets off a waltz with some manic interludes of sheer terror!

On Apocolypto the band put the pedal to the metal and produce a frenzied folk punk introduction before the brakes are applied and slower beat, anguished vocals drive the track forward in anarchic fashion! The eerie banjo introduction to Property leads into a horn driven rhythm and the violin helps create a distinctly eastern Europe gypsy folk feel with the instrumental followed by the more straight up punk rock of Human Resource, a song that plays with tempo changes but is powerful throughout.

Cousin Boneless return to the gypsy folk approach on Point Of You featuring the “spooky saw” sound that is present on many songs and, as the song builds into some funky sections, it sets up the foot stomping folk-punk of Social Ghost. The slower ballad, Glimpse, is delivered with tortured vocals full of pain and longing whilst the penultimate song, Fuck Edward Bernays comes across as a scary prayer/summoning of the spirits before exploding into a hardcore punk frenzy!

This intriguing and ultimately satisfying album concludes with the title track, Possession with a chilling piano and violin introduction that builds into a track that is slightly off-kilter and would be a fitting backing to a horror movie as an instrumental full of darkness!

When not on the road, the band is heavily involved with the 4th River Music Collective, a collection of radicals, musicians, and travelers, who organize events, promote shows and host an annual music festival in Pittsburgh. This is what punk rock is all about!


Get Possession by Cousin Boneless here: https://cousinboneless.bandcamp.com/album/possession