Every once in awhile, I will dig through the hundreds and hundreds of compact discs, tapes, and LP’s in my library to remind myself why I acquired certain albums. Maybe it was because I thought that band was the next biggest thing or maybe it was because they had a similar sound to another band I was digging.
Whatever the reason why that album made it into my possession, sometimes when it left my CD changer, tape or record machine, it was reduced to the dark corners of my collection only to reemerge when I felt to urge to reorganize the collection.
So I stumble upon “Low to the Ground” by The Waxwings. I do not remember why I bought it but I do remember buying it when it was first released, May 2K on Bobsled Records in Aurora, Illinois. Since I have not listened to this disc in the better part of a decade, I threw it into the disc player to start my rediscovery of The Waxwings.
The Waxwings were part of the Detroit music scene and formed in ’97. The line up consisted of Dean Fertita on vocals and lead guitar, Dominic Romano on vocals and guitar, Kevin Peyok manning the bass and James Edmunds as the man behind the risers.
Since The Waxwings were part of the Detroit Rock City sound, that sound that was slowly creeping all over the nation with the raw garage approach and the minimal band idea with just a drummer and guitar player. However, The Waxwings were different than their counterparts. They had the melodies, they had the hooks and their influence came from the 60’s psychedelic pop and folk rock instead of the primal sound of the Stooges or the MC5.
The Waxwings released another album on Bobsled in July of ’02 titled “Shadows Of…”. Bobsled was not pleased with The Waxwings after their CD release party, therefore Bobsled and band separated. Bobsled Records went under after the release of that album. The Waxwings did head back to Detroit to record one more album with Brendan Benson (of The Raconteurs) named “Let’s Make Our Decent” and was released August ’04. Front man, Dean Fertita, joined The Queens of the Stone Age in the spring of ’07 as their keyboardist for their 6th album. Also, Fertita is one of the main songwriters and guitarist for The Dead Weather.
After dusting off the decade old dust and hearing it again for the first time in 11 years, I was not disappointed. From the start with “Keeping the Sparks” to the mellow groove of “It Comes in Waves” closing it out, it was great to rediscover The Waxwings. Anyone that was or still is into the Detroit garage scene and wants to hear how the other half lived, find some Waxwings and give it a spin.