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Low to the Ground 

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Album Review

If jangly guitar rock is a dead art form, no one told Detroit's Waxwings. Thankfully, lead songwriter and singer Dean Fertita and his band of merry janglers still keep the faith and hold a torch for the glory days of three guitar and harmonizing vocals as practiced by such rock & roll luminaries as the Byrds, Big Star, and, well, the Beatles. It's hard to argue with such smart, heartbroken but hopeful narrative tunes as "Keeping the Sparks," "Into the Scenery," and "Ten O'Clock Your Time" — all fantastic little chunks of American guitar pop storytelling goodness. But what sets Waxwings apart from their guys with guitars contemporaries is the multi-faceted approach — from their multiple lead singer stance to their effortless stylistic variations to songwriting and performing. That and the band's apparent understanding that glib hooks and shimmering guitars lines alone do not a great guitar band make. Waxings balance the introspective with the celebratory, the dark with the light and the bitter with the sweet, with a combination of considered economy and emotional honesty. Yes, Fertita is the ostensible leader of this group, but Dominic Romano's heartbreaking lead vocals and the harmonies between the group's singers are just as crucial as Fertita's seamless songwriting in setting the band apart from such easy-baked new pop heroes as Zumpano and Apples in Stereo. Wistful, romantic, and just grounded enough to really take flight, Low to the Ground is a promising debut.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

The Detroit quartet the Waxwings have been sharpening their streamlined '60s pop since the mid-'90s, plucking other sounds from the Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, and the Zombies. Frontman/guitarist Dean Fertita, who used to play in the Motor City rock outfit Reigndance with fellow MTV's The Real World I cast member Andre Comeau, placates the band's retro-spiced sound with space rock elements and light melodies for a spiraling rock crash. He and Dominic Romano (guitar), Kevin Peyok (bass), and James...
Full bio
Low to the Ground , The Waxwings
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