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Album Review: Cousin Jack's Debut EP

Cousin Jack is set to release their debut EP March 29th

Barrie-based folk/blues/grunge rock trio Cousin Jack are set to release their debut self-titled EP on March 29th, 2019 along with what is certain to be a banger of an EP release show (stay tuned for the show review!). Cousin Jack consists of Cameron Stevenson (bass/vocals), Lucas Millar (guitar/vocals), and Jake Thompson (drums/vocals).

Formed in 2015, Cousin Jack has released three singles to date: Hometown, Drive Me, and What Are You – available on most major streaming platforms. Now, CJ is ready to unleash their debut EP on March 29th, along with an EP release party the same day at Mavrick’s Music Hall in their hometown of Barrie, ON with support from local bands House Art and All My Life. The EP was recorded with the notorious Shane Heath of One Star Studio and owner of The Foxx Lounge Rock Bar & Hotdoggery.

Cousin Jack’s debut EP consists of four songs – The Keys, Your Sky, Disneyland, and Vinyl By The Hour. Honestly, I had high expectations of this album knowing both the quality writing and incredible live performances by the band, as well as the expertise and leadership provided by Shane at One Star Studio. I was NOT disappointed.

The album kicks off with The Keys – a great introduction to the quintessential sound that Cousin Jack has spent four years crafting. The song evokes nostalgia of the classic rock and roll sound blended with truly Canadian roots. Overall, the opening song sets a great tone for the EP and highlights the maturation of CJ, lyrically and musically.

Your Sky follows and picks up the pace with a catchy beat and smooth guitar. The borderline anthemic feel of the chorus speaks to Cousin Jack’s constant growth. Disneyland enters with a synth-rock/pop intro that maintains a raw feel. A detachment musically from what Cousin Jack typically creates, Disneyland displays the range of the trio and is an emotional mix of new wave, pop, and country. The final song Vinyl By The Hour truly brings the EP full-circle and does a fantastic job of leaving the listener hungry for more. With a slightly more bluesy feel than the other songs, the journey through the wide array of musical influences is wrapped up neatly.

Overall, I was very impressed by Cousin Jack’s debut EP. Though the greedy part of me hoped for a full-length, I didn’t find the EP was lacking in content or quality. I look forward to watching CJ build on their growing reputation as a band to keep an eye on. Make sure you stay tuned for a review of their EP release show which is on Friday, March 29th at Mavrick’s Music Hall in Barrie, ON. They will be supported by local bands All My Life and House Art. For more information, visit the event page on their Facebook!

The EP will be available this Friday on most major streaming platforms and at the release show!

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