Waxwing - Nobody Can Take What Everybody Owns (Cover Artwork)


Nobody Can Take What Everybody Owns (2002)

Second Nature

"When you feel it running down the back of your spine you'll know." So reads the small font type on the inside jacket of Waxwing's third full length release on Second Nature Recordings, Nobody Can Take What Everybody Owns. Just reading that gives the potential listener the chills, and that is before the music even starts.

Composed of members of bands such as The Blood Brothers, Gatsby's American Dream, Rocky Votolato (the solo project), and Bugs in Amber, Waxwing brings elements from all of these diverse bands into a sound all their own. Try mixing all of those bands together. I dare you. Somehow, Waxwing manages to pull it off on every release.

This band has been a staple of the Seattle music scene since before their first release "For Madmen only" in 1999. Nobody Can Take… is harder and more aggressive than their last release "One for the Ride," and more like their first album than anything else. The album's hardcore influences (inspired by guitarist Cody Votolato's affiliation with the Blood Brothers) unite with singer Rocky Votolato's melodic-acoustic stylings to create an unlikely but intriguing combination. While every member of Waxwing adds a different element, it is Rocky Votolato's voice and lyrics that makes this album stand out against everything else released this year.

Votolato's gruff yet amazingly beautiful voice will have any listener entranced. He wears his heart on his sleeve, but it doesn't come off as pretentious or pitiful. When he screams "Look at me now, look at me now. I am bruised and broken down," the listener will only want more.

I recommend this album to everyone who likes thoughtful indie rock and insightful vocals. This is an essential release. And to repeat the lyrics of the song "Everything's on Fire," the albums opener, "When you feel it running down the back of your spine you'll know…."