Genres: Punk / Rock / Folk / Emo / Alternative / Indie / Country
Related artists: Rocky Votolato, The Blood Brothers, Neon Blonde, Head Wound City, Kentucky Pistol, Gatsby's American Dream, Lying On Loot, Bugs In Amber, Lightheavyweight and Jaguar Love.
Country: Seattle, Washington USA
Years Active: 1996-2005
Album: "One For the Ride"
Label(s): Second Nature Recordings / Henry's Finest Recordings / Excursion Records / All About Friends Forever
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #7.
For fans of: Rocky Votolato, Canvas, Desaparacidos, Nada Surf, Sunny Day Real Estate, Weezer, Cursive, Sharks Keep Moving, Moving Mountains, and Attack In Black.
WAXWING were an odd sound. Not that it is elusive or weird, but the creation by these four gentlemen from about 1999-2002 is in a league all it's own. The sound is expertly crafted, doused in originality and accessible as all hell. Rocky Votolato, who is widely known for his solo material and brother Cody from The Blood Brothers, Neon Blonde and Jaguar Love, among a plethora of other associated bands got back together at the beginning/middle of 2013, but I guess that never came to fruition as the band released nothing. Regardless, their material demands a listen.
Beginning chronologically is the 'Intervention' 7" which not surprisingly includes the track "Intervention" that is an amazing start. The song dips between the serene, dark and intoxicating slow bits and post-hardcore/aggressive alternative.
The band's debut LP 'For Madmen Only' is a decent album but one I couldn't get into as much as the latter two full lengths. "CornerStore" is the only song that really rings like future WAXWING. The barely audible, hushed singing starts things off with those entrancing guitars that act like spiderwebs before exploding during the chorus, along with Rocky's early take on raspier, heavier singing.
'One For the Ride' is amazing. Seriously. The first two tracks solidify this as one of the greatest emo/rock/alternative albums ever. No argument. Starting with "All of My Prophets" the band is able to perfectly harness the soft, dreamy, emotional arrangements with some cracking alternative rock. "One For the Ride" is a sing along masterpiece. Imagine Rocky Votolato's 'Suicide Medicine' with a backing band and you're already there. There's a reason why it's the title track - because it's fucking amazing. "Where Did the Time Go?" is a slow, brooding, almost dancey affair which boasts some great guitars during the intro that will no doubt get your head boppin'. "There Will Be a Reckoning" is the country tune but at 2:38 it flips back to 90s rock for a brief moment before delving further into almost Helmet-esque territory with some heavy riffing. This heavier, punkier second half comes with an accompanying wailing Rocky Votolato. "Blue Days and Green Nights" is the penultimate slow, beautiful and haunting track on here. It's not unlike "Where Did the Time Go?" in it's restrained power shrouded in sweet, soft lullabies. Saving the best for last, "Laboratory" is my WAXWING jam, no question. The build in this song is fucking epic and it's the best example of the band's myriad influences and polished songwriting style. Honestly, if you listen to any track make it this beauty.
The band's final venture 'Nobody Can Take What Everybody Owns' is a little more aggressive but also hints much more obviously at Rocky's country and folk roots. It's a great album but may not reach the pedestal that I've had 'One For the Ride' on for the last 15 years. It opens with "Everything's On Fire" which is definitely one of the stronger efforts WAXWING crafted. Warbly as his voice may be, the lyrics and powerful placement by Rocky along with very driving instrumentals that rise and fall, although probably fall directly into the harder category. "Colour" is a poppier track that reminds me a lot more of 'One For the Ride', hot damn just listen to the high pitched/bubble gum vocal injection at 30 seconds in and the extremely infectious chorus. "Place Called Houston" has a heavier country feel to the intro but at 0:42 the song slows down and darkens to the point where it's classic WAXWING. "Records" is a really cool song that suffers from attention deficit disorder as it jumps all over the place. Soft parts, fast parts, hand clapping, bouncy parts and sing-alongs. The "Untitled Track" aids in showing off Rocky Votolato's range of emotion-packed singing over a piano before the guitar licks slide in just after 1:10. This is probably a cover of something, but holy moly it packs a punch.
WAXWING truly defies conventions and fall into a category by themselves. As you'll notice the for fans of section is (again) sorely lacking here, but there's nothing save for Rocky Votolato's solo stuff and maybe Call It Arson and Canvas that comes close to sounding like WAXWING. One of my all-time favourite bands. You are truly doing yourself a disservice is you pass on this band without giving them a listen.
Click )==>here<==( to download the band's complete discography in mp3 form.
1998 - Intervention 7"EP
1999 - For Madmen Only LP
1999 - The Casket Lottery split 7"
2000 - One For the Ride cd/12"LP
2001 - Intervention: Collection + Remix cdLP
2002 - Nobody Can Take What Everybody Owns cd/12"LP
2014 - All About Friends Forever Volume 5 (split w/Steve Brodsky, The Firebird Suite Yuri-G and Impel) 7"EP
(2000) WAXWING - "Laboratory" (from 'One For the Ride')
(2002) WAXWING - "Colour" (from 'Nobody Can Take What Everybody Owns')
(1998) WAXWING - "Intervention" (from 'Intervention')
(1999) WAXWING - "Corner Store" (from 'For Madmen Only')
(2000) WAXWING - "One For the Ride" (from 'One For the Ride')
(2000) WAXWING - "All of My Prophets" (from 'One For the Ride')
(2002) WAXWING - "Everything's On Fire" (from 'Nobody Can Take What Everybody Owns')
(2002) WAXWING - "Records" (from 'Nobody Can Take What Everybody Owns')
WAXWING out of print mp3 discography download