• Gloria Tang

The Rocketz New Track 'Wither'

“Wither” is a rockabilly love song from The Rocketz. It also features a very vulnerable lyric, at least for a rockabilly song. On its chorus, lead singer Tony Red-Horse confesses, “I wither without you.” The song has a fun, galloping rhythm, even though Red-Horse explicitly reveals his more sensitive side on it. It could have just as easily been recorded as a ballad, but The Rocketz have decided instead to give it a good, stomping beat.


Listen 'Wither' here:


Red-Horse has a long history in the modern rockabilly genre. He began as a singer/upright bassist for the trio, The Saddle Sores. He was also the founder of a Los Angeles psychobilly group, Terror Train. He’s furthermore lent his skills to many other acts, including Three Bad Jacks and Robert Gordon. The Rocketz represent Red-Horse’s current project, though, and this single is taken from the trio’s album, Lovesick & Heartbroke.


Lyrically, Red-Horse fills the track with plenty of specific details, and specific details always make any song better. For instance, he comments on how this girl sings louder whenever she doesn’t think anyone is around listening to her. She also sings a little more out of tune. Pitch issues are something a singer just can’t help but notice. However, he’s more forgiving of these faults because he loves her.


He then goes on to say how, seemingly, everything he does is better whenever she’s around. She’s the element that brings joy to his life. In contrast, he describes himself as lost without her. He sings about how she takes him by the hand, almost the same way a parent takes a small child by the hand. She’s not just his lover and muse, but she is also described as though she were his guardian. These lyrical images bring to the mind’s eye a small child lost in a department store. We’ve all seen it; children that fear they’ve lost their mom (or that their mom’s lost them), will sometimes drop to the ground, simply crushed by these dire circumstances. Red-Horse puts his relationship into these same extreme terms.


Elsewhere. Red-Horse wonders how he ever found such a great woman. It’s as though he feels unworthy of her affection. It’s amazing how much difference the love of a good woman can make in a man’s life. We all try and come off as confident and self-sufficient, but inside, we’re many times just like that small child in the department store. Lost and alone.


Vocally, Red-Horse sings this one with a relatively smooth vocal approach. Elsewhere on the album, his singing takes on a rough, nearly punk tone. Not here, though, as he applies a much softer, sincere approach. In this respect, he may remind you of Brian Setzer of Stray Cats. Setzer knows how to rock this town but is also skilled in being kinder and gentler. Not every rock & roll has this range. It’s a gift if you will.


Few of us readily admit that we wither without our significant other. Tony Red-Horse is a brave soul. No toxic masculinity here, that’s for sure. By confessing to withering, Red-Horse comes out a clear, honest winner.


Watch the 'Wither' music video here:




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-Dan MacIntosh