Former Waxwing frontman takes a turn for the country
For a recovering emo kid, Rocky Votolato makes a rather convincing country singer. After several years of wiggling into a softer and riper musical space, he gives us a melodic alt. country record that’s sprinkled with the glitter-like remnants of his punk-rock roots. Beneath hazy harmonicas, banjos and steel guitars, Votolato’s signature lyrical urgency and confessional delivery remind listeners that emotional truth is hardly beholden to one particular genre. At worst, the brag & cuss is overly affected (with its multiple “only whiskey can kill the pain” references), but at best, it’s completely disarming.