A few of you might know Votolato as the voice of Waxwing, the Emerald City's answer to Jimmy Eat World, but the twentysomething singer's had a concurrent solo career going since his self-titled 1999 debut. His upcoming effort, Suicide Medicine, is easily his best to date, often recalling the folk vibe of Massachusetts' Pernice Brothers. The album's best moments come when it's just Rocky and his guitar, though, and he's either crooning with his gravelly sweet voice or belting out a near-conversational rant while attacking his instrument with the staccato zeal of a punk rocker. He ain't Chris Carrabba, which means you'll get odes to the angsty side of life -- deferred dreams, vexing relationships, the trials of the working stiff, trying to find one's place in the world, etc. -- sans the emotional vacuity.