Cotati is the latest release from Los Angeles-based rock band The Astronots. Cotati is part indie, part blues, and part garage rock and has some pretty interesting moments sprinkled throughout. Unfortunately, these moments were too few for my ears. The Astronots have a solid rock n’ roll foundation but aren’t doing enough different for me to want to give this release many relistens.
Cotati kicks off with what I feel is its best song, “Are We Living.” The tune opens up with an old-fashioned, almost White Reaper-esque guitar riff that, despite being on the simpler side, immediately grabbed my attention. Before long, we’re into a really strong, really fun chorus. The whole song has a real throwback feel to it, and I mean that as a compliment; the stellar vocals and meat-and-potatoes instrumental throughout make “Are We Living” sound like a song you’ve heard on and off for years. I can’t say that the song is innovative by any means, but its charisma makes up for it.
There are some other highlight moments on the mellow tune “Settle Down” or the garage rockin’ “Who Are You,” but the good times were pretty short-lived. Vanilla tunes like “Wandering Eyes” or “How Much Pain” follow the same familiar song structure as “Are We Living,” but lack the charm that the latter offers. I was least impressed by the closing tune “Don’t Wanna Wait.” The off-the-floor recording of this coffee shop rock song feels like an afterthought tacked on to bulk up Cotati. It may sound blunt, but a stripped-down song from a band I’m already bored of is the last thing I wanted to hear.
Cotati isn’t terrible, but I can’t offer a lot of praise. Although The Astronots were strong out of the gate, I couldn’t get into this thing much past that. The band’s got some great rock n’ roll potential and I hope to hear them broaden their horizons in future releases.
Written by Justin Bruce
*edited by Danielle Kenedy