WAXWING – Appetizer EP (CD Reissue 2024)

WAXWING – Appetizer EP (CD Reissue 2024)
Heaven And Hell Records
Released Year:
1. Pictures of You2. Alone in the Night3. Riding Out4. Wet Spot

Sometime between 1983 and 1987 and the States of Florida and Washington, Snyder on guitars and Gil Thrill on vocals created and kept WAXWING alive for as long as it took, in order to leave behind the one and only sample of their work; it was 1988’s AMAZING “Appetizer” EP, which was recorded with the final lineup of the band at Steve Lawson’s Studio in Seattle.

But let’s start form the begging…

In their first steps, WAXWING were playing several JUDAS PRIEST and SCORPIONS 70’s hits like “Tyrant”, “Victim of Changes”, “Lovedrive” and “Another Piece of Meat”. Unfortunately, it was the early 80’s and this kind of setlist obviously didn’t get a good response in Miami. “At most gigs we got kicked out for playing too loud, drinking too much and not knowing anything popular or radio friendly at the time.” Snyder recalls. “We really didn’t care as we were playing for ourselves.” he adds.

Still, that wouldn’t be the end of WAXWING because it was just then when Snyder and Thrill decided to take a journey to the southwest, ending up at the port city of Tacoma.

There, the two other members of the group were replaced; John Gillow (bass) by Steve Norton and Steve Twitchell (drums) by Joey Hammerschmith. The band kept the song list almost the same, adding covers from IRON MAIDEN and other well-known heavy metal bands. “Within a month of rehearsal, we played a show. What a turnout we had! There were more than four hundred screaming maniacs stuffed in a small hall all front stage and just banging their heads off. I couldn’t believe the support.” Snyder says.

It seemed that the time had come for the band to create their own music and write their own tracks. Although working on their originals went perfectly well as far as the material was concerned, the band lost its grip travelling back to Miami before returning to Tacoma again, changing members and plans constantly. They finally took a break from each other for a while and regrouped a year later.

The four songs of the “Appetizer” EP were first recorded by Snyder on a 6-track recorder that Gil had bought, using a drum machine. In 1986, after a wild summer in Tacoma, the band got once again back to work, finally recording their EP which would be mixed in Los Angeles and then remixed in Seattle, before its independent release in 1988.

Snyder remembers: “We were playing all over Seattle and Tacoma and beginning to get a great following. At the peak of our playing a management company was looking at our band and another band called DIAMOND LIE. I was told that the firm had a solid relationship with a major label and one of the two bands was going to walk away with a record deal. Well to make a long story short, DIAMOND LIE got the attention and that was that. DIAMOND LIE later changed their name to ALICE IN CHAINS and I think the rest is history. That was pretty much the end of WAXWING. Born in 1983 and died in 1989.”

What Snyder (guitars), Gil “Thrill” Fernandez (vocals), Matt Mustafa (bass) and Joey Hammerschmith (drums) brought out in their unique self-released cassette is another US obscure gem that would forever be praised by underground metal afficionados and sought after by collectors.

Fans of melodic power metal in the vein of QUEENSRYCHE, HEIR APPARENT and CRIMSON GLORY will feel ecstatic listening to such majestic songs as “Pictures Of You”, “Alone In The Dark” and the heartbreaking ballad “Wet Spot” while one cannot avoid bringing to mind LETHAL and ION BRITTON when hearing the majestic “Riding Out”.

This is the first time ever that these four tracks are presented on CD format, remastered by Snyder himself.

“Appetizer” was released on March 30th by Heaven and Hell Records on CD.

Check the discussion about the album in our forum pages.

You can order the CD here.


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