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Koufax | Social Life | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop


Social Life (Vagrant)
by Ewan Wadharmi

Koufax wear their influences on their album sleeve. The musical reference here is that three year span at the turn of the '80s when suits were worn a size too small with skinny ties and really bright shoes. I'm all for bringing piano back into rock, but after The Ben Folds Five Hundred, I've been looking for something less corporate. Jared Rosenberg's keyboard work gets noticed without demanding your attention. It works neatly in the structure of every song. Vocals by Robert Suchen are appreciatively no-frills, regular-guy variety, though an occasional misplaced syllable stumbles over a quasi-rhyme - "You're moving to the larger cities/impulse thinking keeps you busy." And the heavy-handed plunking rhythms begin to feel like riding your bike on the train tracks. There's also the tendency to repeat the last line of the song in true '70s jump-off-when-you-find-the-ending style.

While some more bombastic moments break up the day, it's generally innocuous stuff. "Brightside" is the accurately-named highlight, with its natural progression and pleasing add-ons. But after the dated key-change, I'd expect the outlawed fade-out. There's a recognizable connection to Fastball, minus the catchy tunes. Hmmm, Koufax... Fastball... do you see a baseball theme forming? This is a bit like Field of Dreams; if you build it, Costner will be mediocre.
(2118 Wilshire Blvd. #361 Santa Monica, CA 90403)


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