I’m a big one for voices; something distinctive, something tuneful.
Truth be told, AC Cotton is an everyman’s band; unfortunately the voice of Alan Charing as it is on this disc is an everyman’s voice.
For the audience AC Cotton seems want to attract and the style and sound they produce, however – straight ahead Rock ‘n’ Roll with a 70s attitude – a distinctive voice is not necessarily important. It does’t hurt, though.
AC Cotton, on this their second full-length release, Notes For the Conversation are, careful. Perhaps merely stoned. Or perhaps, instead, the vibe sounds better through a haze of smoke above and a foot of Portland, Oregon water below.
Each song starts off with a good clang, a good chord and intro – and then each stumbles forward to the end – in slow motion.
Notes for the Conversation seems to be best noted as background music in a bar; something expected, but only rarely noticed. I’m being harsh; but there’s a lack of anything urgent, a melody, a phrase that pulls a mop-haired glance up from the table toward the stage.
Nothing distinctive. It almost seems as if they’re trying to be something they’re not — and what they already are is better. Apparently the disc finds the band “in a more contemplative and experimental mood.”
I’d like to call that mood a funk, but it’s more of a sulk.
The last two tracks pick it all up a notch. “Right at Home” is a muted, more thoughtful Black Crowes. And the song “Notes for the Conversation” is a complete departure from everything that went before it. The song is very sparse, and the vocals are more spoken and pressing than on the other songs. It would be a great iTunes download.
It’s almost as if all the other songs were drowned out by the talking crowds – the conversation – and now, as the evening ends, the guy puts in the final, quiet pitch to be heard in a different, intimate setting.
The songs themselves can be heard via a player at the bottom of the AC Cotton Web site. http://www.accotton.comPowered by Sidelines