Harmonica-tinged gruff blues delivered by a man born with a broken heart, ‘Portland Is Leaving’ is many a mile wide of its author’s brother’s work with The Blood Brothers; one can only speculate as to what the pair,* Rocky and Cody *Votolato, listen to during family get-togethers. Outkast, probably.
Both were, of course, part of emo-rockers Waxwing, but their trajectories since can’t be any more different – the use of a guitar is, seemingly, the sole similarity. Rocky has, of late, been rather in his brother’s shadow, but this curtain-raising single from the forthcoming Makers album might straighten the balance somewhat. All right, their audiences are hella different, but Rocky’s heart-on-sleeve confessionals are so in tune with the Dashboards of this world that it’s a given, surely, that he’ll catch his mainstream break sooner rather than later. This – pleasant, but compositionally and lyrically too simple to warrant incessant repeat plays – probably won’t be the song to do it, but it’s another foot in the right direction after a couple of decent solo albums already.
Nice, then, but do remember where nice guys so often finish, be their work brilliant or not…
6Mike Diver's Score