Rocky Votolato - Makers (Cover Artwork)

Rocky Votolato

Rocky Votolato: MakersMakers (2006)
Barsuk Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
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With a very reserved and a very honest demeanor, former Waxwing member Rocky Votolato should be able to make a sizable impact with his newest release, Makers. His singer/songwriter style is one that seems extremely comfortable in its own skin. The songs are fleshed out, full of sincere musings an.
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With a very reserved and a very honest demeanor, former Waxwing member Rocky Votolato should be able to make a sizable impact with his newest release, Makers.

His singer/songwriter style is one that seems extremely comfortable in its own skin. The songs are fleshed out, full of sincere musings and introspection, all under the guise of Votolato's strong and earnest vocal style. He stays at a medium pitch throughout each song, not straining to hit any high or extraneous notes, but at the same time, staying above the low, incomprehensible rumble that plagues many like musicians.

What helps the album out more than anything is simplicity. It's just a man, his acoustic guitar, and the occasional, but tactful inclusion of a harmonica. It's because of this concentrated effort that each and every song is extremely well thought out and crafted. Votolato's voice is stunningly gorgeous, without him having to do anything outlandish to make it so. The acoustic guitar is just as integral to the success of the record though, as the strumming patterns practically twinkle, and the strings are so full of gorgeous melody that each strum hits just as hard as the last. There's also some subtle instances of slap guitar playing, and it seamlessly integrates with the heartfelt harmony.

"Wait Out the Days'' is one of the slower paced songs, but it has an extremely powerful feel to it, and the way in which the lyrics are delivered makes a lot of difference. No, he doesn't try to hit any high notes, but there is a lot of diversity in his approach, albeit subtle, but it truly does make a difference. His impassioned delivery also helps to bring out a lot of the extremely strong imagery presented in the lyrics. The delicate, beautiful strum pattern of "Goldfield" only helps to make the song feel that much more majestic. The alt-country feel reflects the lyrical portrait to an absolute tee -- "Car 5032 of the Union Pacific, is passing by on the right to bring back all the hopelessness / Of a trailer park in the old mining town, where the irony's laying slack on the ground / In the dirty streets of Goldfield, if you're searching for silver or an easier fortune / Finding nothing in the way of love, or living a life any better than before."

The quiet pitter patter of "Tinfoil Hats" leads well into some solid harmonica work, the song being one of the more upbeat on the album, without losing any of the truly emotive qualities so well showcased in the previous tracks. Oddly enough, the track that uses electric guitar, courtesy of brother and Blood Brothers member Cody Votolato, is the track that most captures the real essence of a barren ghost town. The almost whispered vocals, the country twang of the occasional chord pluck, it all sets an extremely beautiful scene, layered in heart and beauty.

Rocky Votolato does little wrong with this effort, as the twelve tracks are able to echo folk and country leanings, while staying simple enough to truly evoke the kind of feeling that no slick guitar solo possibly could.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (February 2, 2006)

this is way better than the last cd you bought, unless that cd was from the felix culpa. BAM.

logan (January 30, 2006)

Although I think that Second Nature is one of the best record labels going these days... I think it was in the best interest of Rocky to move over to Barsuk. Hopefully he can get some of the attention that he has deserved for over the past 4 years. The new record is good.. but I don't think it's as good as Suicide Medicine. Still sold though, and everyone who hasn't heard him should definitely check him out... its worth it.

withoutadoubt13 (January 29, 2006)

suicide medicene was either on second nature or it may have been released through status records?

ahh the new cd is good, but suicide medicene is amazing. i cannot wait for the upcoming tour with minus the bear.

Anonymous (January 29, 2006)

This is an absolutely amazing album... I've really enjoyed Rocky's pervious stuff, both solo and with Waxwing but this album beats all of it. I really enjoy the country feel as well..

Cos (January 28, 2006)

I found the title track off of "Suicide Medicine" and I can't stop listening to it. It was on Second Nature or Initial or some record label that went under, right? I can't seem to find it anywhere.

Also, I saw him at a record store when he was touring with the Get Up Kids. No mic, just him, an acoustic guitar and a harmonica and it was AMAZING. Really looking forward to hearing this.


ramo (January 27, 2006)

I'll probably check this out. Last time I heard of Rocky's solo material was when he toured with Small Brown Bike, promoting his EP. It was pretty good.


Anonymous (January 27, 2006)

singer-songwriter records tend to be good compared to the genre, but rarely do much outside of that criteria, but after his last record, Rocky actually made a record in the same well known genre that sounds really fresh and original.

Their are no 'hit' songs, or sudden departures in the middle of the record, its just one great tune after the next that blend into the tone of the whole.

He seems much more in control of his playing, when to use certain sounds, and when to pull back than on suicide medicine. Very relaxed, good stuff.


Anonymous (January 27, 2006)

if you like this album, try to find the torrent file for the leaked version and download the three songs that don't appear on the retail version ("20 degrees", "someday you won't be here", and "end like this"). i think they're stronger than most songs on the retail version. he obviously, however, had a different vision for the record and his own reasons for not including these songs, but they're definitely worth finding and holding onto.

score is for rocky's beard he once had.

Big_Guy (January 27, 2006)

This guy writes great songs

Anonymous (January 27, 2006)

Definitely his best. For as good as Suicide Medicine is, it pales compared to this. Really really like it.

Does anyone have a copy of that Home show that Rocky was on. One of the guys on the first season of The Apprentice hosts it... anyone know what i'm talking about? Even weblinks regarding this episode would be helpful, thanks!

SilentStorms (January 27, 2006)

I have most of this guys stuff, so i can't wait to hear this!

ThreeChordsAndTheTruth (January 27, 2006)

This guy rules.

Anonymous (January 27, 2006)


Come see rocky in Bellingham, WA!!!

with guests
...Gabe Archer (of the Pale Pacific)...
...Autumn Poetry...

TIME: 8:00PM
LOCATION: PAC Concert Hall / WWU
ADMISSION: $3 Student / $5 General

This will be Rocky's first trip back to WWU since joining Barsuk Records. His new album, "Makers," is out January 24.

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