On his eight album, Rocky Votolato sounds revitalized. Is that due to the three year pause in between albums or because he recorded the new album with the help of former Death Cab For Cutie guitarist Chris Walla and his brother Cody Votolato (of the Blood Brothers) among others? Who knows! Fact is that songs like “The Hereafter” and “White Knuckles” rock harder than anything else Votolato has put out in the last couple of years. But he’ll just as well slow down to a shuffle for the folky “Sawdust And Shavings” or “So Unexpected”.
Apparently Rocky Votolato was dealing with self-doubt and a writer’s block following the release of his seventh album and even considered retiring from the music scene. Listening to “Hospital Handshakes”, we can only conclude that he made a wise decision to keep forging ahead and with glimmers of hope shining through in almost every single song, he seems to be in a much better state of mind now. Kudos on a job well done!