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2003-10-21 - Soundbites - The Dailey Texan - Big Fear Review
Common Rotation has as of yet defied categorization, being called everything from folk-funk to alt-rock, country to jam band. This eclectic variation of styles, however, proves problematic to the Long Island foursome on their latest album, "The Big Fear," as it's hard to tell what their sound actually is.
The album starts out with "Indie Rockin," which produces what it promises - a Common Rotation interpretation of what indie rock is like. And it sounds alright. So does their Better Than Ezra-esque song, "Post Modern," and their 311/O.A.R. song, "Sit Down." All of these songs have a hook in their own right.
It's difficult to peg down who these guys are though; singers Adam Busch and Eric Kufs sing harmony quite well, and Kufs' guitar playing is catchy though unoriginal. Bassist Mike Uhler and drummer Ken Beck lay down a decent rhythm.
The most redeeming song on the album may be their cover of "Don't Let's Start" by They Might Be Giants, a band they've opened for in the last year. Busch and Kufs' harmony shine through over this groovy progression, and the violin parts added by studio musicians really add depth to the track.
Common Rotation has a strong sense of how a pop song works and how to pull it off well. They are most reminiscent of early nineties' alt-rockers like Barenaked Ladies and Better Than Ezra, but still stray away from this grounding to infuse country, funk and anything in between.
"The Big Fear" is a tease - its variation of styles leads to the creation of a pop melting pot, and while it may satisfy, it doesn't impress. Perhaps the best definition for Common Rotation is college rock - something to get everyone in the crowd nodding their head. Hopefully, by their next album, they'll find their own sound.
- Avimaan Syam
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