Common Rider – Last Wave Rockers

Common Rider
Last Wave Rockers

Last Wave Rockers packs in an albums-worth of pleasant, breezy music. Although from time to time reggae-tinged guitar, organ and piano make appearences, for the most part Common Rider plays straightforward, unoffensive pop. I guess I should confess my biases here – I’m drawn to music that is in some sense musically or lyrically “challenging.” CommonRider is neither – not exactly boring but somewhat motionless at times, stuck in a mid-tempo beat treading water.
Some of the songs actually are quite catchy. “Deep Spring” bubbles along nicely (reminds me of some of Pond’s work), and “Rough Redemption” outshines the bulk of the “island” influenced stuff. “A Place Where We can Stay,” probably the best song on the album, signals what the band is capable of: hook-laden with a lovely refrain and unpretentious lyrics that venture dangerously close to being sugar-coated. Its the kind of pop song that could easily stick in your head like a well-chewed piece of bubble yum.
Too often, Common Rider seems to stray into musical territory ill-suited to its talents. The reggae-styled crap is a jarring contrast when set next to the little pop jewels that surface intermittently. Unfortunately they don’t surface enough to keep Last Wave Rockers rolling.