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Little League

The beauty of festivals like Sled is seeing bands in unusual spots. Local 510 was hosting shows inside the bar and outside in the rear parking lot. Talk about a double whammy.

Makeshift venue such as a rear parking lot isn’t usually kind to acts that demand intimacy. Edmonton’s Little League fell pray to this. The folky twosome (girl drummer/vocal & dude on guitar/vocals) did their best to convey the subtle contrasts in their voices or gentle pacing shifts in their material. Instruments should not dominate a sound like theirs. Unfortunately they did, making them sound monotonic at times. Those gathered got a preview of the girl’s visceral vocals in the last song, as the set closer was more of an unplugged tune. Note for next time: turn DOWN the instruments turn UP the vocals.

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Cousins

Do you have a band that never gets old? You gotta see them again and again if even this is your 5th time. There are reasons why I keep coming back to Cousins. First, Aaron Mangle’s distinct hairstyle is a sight unseen. You can spot the lead singer from miles by his blonde crew cut. Second, Mangle’s booming silky voice is a discerning contrast to the organized deafening chaos that surrounds it. This is a big reason why the Halifax-based garage band stands out amongst the rest. And lastly, did I mention they are loud? There wasn’t a single head in the packed lot that wasn’t banging along to the ear-splitting goodness. The last year release The Halls of Wickwire reached new musical heights. After their 6th show, I can confirm Cousins continues to break through new peaks on the decibel meter as well.