bill bodkin reviews the release from the up-and-coming New Jersey band …
When a local band puts their first full-length record into your hands or delivers it to your inbox, you look their work with ambivalence. Could I be listening to a piece of groundbreaking masterwork? Am I hearing the future of rock ‘n’ roll, and its name is [insert band here]? Or will you be listening to an aurally offensive piece of music that you, out of the kindness of your heart, ‘forget’ to write about.
In the case of the New Jersey band Cotton, their first full-length record, In The Basement, is neither of these two. What this record is, in my opinion, is an appetizer, a soft opening, a sneak preview of a band that could legitimately be on all our lips in the next few years. It’s an exciting record to listen, it’s teeming with interesting, upbeat and heartfelt tunes, and when the final song fades to black, you are left with thoughts of what this band can do next. These are young guys putting out some quality music — just imagine what’ll happen with more time, more shows and more seasoning. Things could get magical real quick.
There are some tracks that really stand out, particularly when guitarist Leo Kalik unleashes his excellent guitar chops. Check out “All Your Life,” in which he performs this tremendously mature, bluesy guitar solo that’s brilliantly underscored with organ work. It’s just really good music. The other side of the band’s guitar work is shown on “Tear It Down,” where the band’s former keyboardist Eitan Levine nearly melts your face off with some shredding keytar solo. That’s right … a keytar. Throughout the album, you’ll also be impressed with the lyrical content and vocal stylings of Brandon Broderick. There’s just something about his vocals that I believe can really become something special.