After a pair of short but powerfully conceived cassettes packaged in handmade books, etched wooden boxes and wax-sealed envelopes, Cousins have broken free from Milwaukee's frigid winter with a dense full-length spanning over an hour. These twelve songs capture a dark era, recorded over an 8-month period in a cryogenic reverb tank. Cousins have patiently crafted a unique brand of post-punk intensity, borrowing elements from hardcore, shoegaze, sludge and noise rock while never feeling like a trivial embodiment of any particular sonic aesthetic. Each song grapples with personal realizations in a tug-of-war between nostalgic dirges and youthful adrenaline. Bathhouse reads like a long lost diary with the emotional weight of a family heirloom recovered from years of obscurity in an attic or basement. All that's left is to turn the key.
Recorded by Krum A.D. (Ice Age Records) and mastered by Will Killingsworth (Failures, Orchid, Ampere) at Dead Air Studios.
My heart as simple as your heart. Same still goes; join the thrones to another thought and another dream about you. Seems to be that you can see that it can stand and move on its own when my heart's as simple as your heart. So tame and docile. Plain as you know. Now to stop caring about everything and nothing all at once. I spoke my mind for the last time. Now, forced to brace a wall which cannot be left behind.
Track Name: Envelope
Sold the last for a lick of it. Seems so fast yet it can’t be split. Torn to be a thread in the sea, a spit of a point on top of me. So I'll owe everything. Time is a softened sense of all thoughts trying to live. Torn in two to a cluster of cuts to lead into morning. How and why do we do. So I'll owe everything. Even though I'll see it in the morning I don't know if I can last another tow to take myself from pouring my last drag.
Track Name: Brother's Books (To My Beloved Little Sister)
Kid Sister, I heard the foghorns and trembled for you. Can’t help but fear that the ghost who lives in Mother’s room is keeping you up all night. Oh Victoria, if you hear her footsteps in the dead of night just try to slip back into slumber. Kid Sister, trust me I know how her nerves can wrap themselves around your neck like a noose. Can’t help but fear the worst. Oh, how long is our day’s journey into night. Oh Victoria, how now I think of your innocence lost upon seeing your face reflected in her evening eyes. Yes, I love you. Big Brother’s not dead. No I haven’t forgotten you. Please don’t think I’m dead.
Track Name: Drone
Everything just starts to feel real as soon as absence takes a step into view. I'm held to hold the thoughts of what came before and what is found seemingly tame. You don't say. I don't want to hear it. No, I don't want to hear it. It’s the same damn thing, I've just learned not to adhere to it. The world seems to just pass me by and I'm named selfish to realize.
Track Name: Howl/Untitled
I'm having trouble trying to find you. Left behind a sign beside truth. For now I'll just sit and howl at the moon. Scatter sweeps and leaves infancy. Reliving waves of spent recovery. For now I'll just sit and howl at the moon. Pieces form and rule discovery. Inhibit and talk above me. For now I'll just sit and howl at the moon.
Heaven's sent to hell, descent to apathy. Thoughts of what is here to stay to monitor everything stakes a plane inside of chambers filled with seemingly nothing cascades over hills that hover central points in me. I'll run away with you.
Track Name: Xuxa
As a child I believed that one day your light would come for me. Days floated onward and still belief in nothing but noise from the world. Xuxa, you're feigning excitement. Xuxa, don't laugh until I've left. Take it slow. Lights explode. Frozen in a year when I was so much less cynical. Xuxa, you're feigning excitement. Xuxa, don't laugh until I've left.
Track Name: A-Fun
I know a man insistent that the drapes are maroon, not fuchsia. The type a sunset makes speechless. This arrow’s vector’s desire and the object’s suspended. Gnosis being we don’t listen to because we can’t. I know a little girl who is anxious and quiet. She draws pictures to ease her nerves. “This is my daddy,” the portrait she held up for me. Every shade of green’s so articulate. “I hope he likes it.” I know a father and daughter distanced by their perpetual effort to find the right words for one another. Fiction’s their lens to make sense of their evidence. “Daddy, may I borrow this book?” All’s sepia from our ennuying longing. I just want a way to say it. My inclination to loathe we jades me. I need rest; let me rest in peace.
Track Name: Aokighara
Breath buried above him. His city blacks out mountains. Stains rule those below them. Life submits to the grey. Aokigahara. Life for him begins outside his walls. Spirits wait with arms wrapped around. Skies that lift all ambitions, in the woods it doesn't matter. Aokigahara.
Track Name: Family Photos
As I flip through photo albums in my parent’s living room I realize I can’t recognize anyone. As I play the piano, dusty in their den, every key sounds sharp or flat. As I entertain my demons in suburban trite I still hear my mother weeping in her room. So I phone my friends. They pick me and we drive around and believe we’re having fun. We’re coping. “In the darkness of mere being”. As we pass a child playing lonesome in park I collect myself because boys don’t cry. This place is static. We’re all lost in oblivion. We’re all damned to the same place. Our family photos will look like our parent’s family photos and their parent’s – a folio of forced smiles. I’m ashamed of myself. These pictures, my life, such are the stimuli of my despairing.
Track Name: Maustrap/Mono No Aware
I knew better. Curiosity you’re so peculiar. Logic’s unnatural here, when longing for consummation. That picture’s a trap. It took my tail. Can’t stomach the stench. Her dead body braces my desk. Enterochromaffin’s on vacation indefinitely. Leave me alone. I can’t bear no more questions. “What’s the message?” “What does this mean?” “What if your mother was your father, a sibling, your cousin…what if…what if?” “Let’s make a record.” “Let’s play some shows.” “Was it cathartic?” “Feel better now?” I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know…
The moon pierced through the night and kissed our heads soft like that of a Mother’s goodnight. We inhaled the keys to our unconscious, then blew our souls out to the stars in hopes of consciousness. In that moment I was Jesus’ son, but later I just felt empty, discovering our day is deceiving us there’s sun. The moon stabbed reality and carved us with its butcher’s knife. We coughed as we exhaled and heard only echoes from our magnificent minds.In that moment I was Jesus’ son: a bastard of the greatest hero sung. I have everything. I have nothing.