In an age when pop has smothered itself in drum machines and electronic production, rock is standing apart by reviving the electric-guitar glory days of the early 1970s.
It's a trend playing out right here in Madison, where local rock bands embraced blues and heavy prog throughout 2010. If Common Swift's debut CD is any indication, 2011 is heading in the same direction.
"Vault" is built around an aggressive riff and a wailing instrumental bridge. The song's driving rhythm is a counterpoint to apocalyptic, ethereal vocals.
The searing guitar riff that opens "Shadow Boxers" gives way to jazzy keyboard, recalling the prog fusion of the '70s English rock band Yes.
Echoes of the past don't stop there. The opening chords of "Holly" evoke early-'90s grunge. "Accidents Become Money" recalls the brooding mystery of Pink Floyd.
Common Swift is another welcome addition to Madison's new order of progressive rock.