Album review of 'Rotation' by Cute Is What We Aim For released through Fueled By Ramen.
This quartet from Buffalo, New York, formed in 2005 and released their debut record 'The Same Old Blood Rush With A New Touch' the following year. Signed to the same label that houses the likes of Paramore and Panic At The Disco, they're currently on a huge tour across North America, having played UK shows earlier in the summer.
Clearly followers of the Blink 182 movement (vocalist Shaant Hacikyan even sounds a bit like Tom DeLonge), CIWWAF will not surprise many people with the output on their second album. The likes of 'Miss Sobriety' and 'Marriage To Millions' are all out punk-pop, while slightly heavier is opening track 'Practice Makes Perfect', which doesn't fulfil an expectation to explode into life. The tracks have the energy that are expected of the genre, but rarely make a lasting impression - the middle section of 'Loser' and 'Do What You Do' pass by without an impression due to being so formulaic.
Stepping outside of their comfort zone brings mixed results for the band, 'Time' predictably starts as an acoustic number before 'epically' coming to life and attempting to be grand. It fails on the account of not holding much of a hook and having bizarre lyrics relating someone's body to travelling the globe. Much better and easily the standout moment of this album is 'Hollywood', Latin-flavoured with splashes of trumpet and wonderfully infectious, it even shows the band have something to say with a rant against modern-day obsessions with fame and wanting to get away from it all. Whether or not that message gets through to the kids in their audience is questionable, and the chances are they'll enjoy 'Rotation', but for those wanting a bit more depth to their music this is not where to look.