Review : Rogue Wave - Permalight
PitchforkDo you know what it's like to have a slipped disc in your neck? I do, and if it weren't for the spinal tap and blood patch procedures that followed, it would probably be the most painful experience in my life. Rogue Wave singer/guitarist Zach Rogue suffered two slipped discs in his neck, essentially rendering him paralyzed for a span of months. When his condition improved and the songwriting muse began to call again, like many who've been laid up for a significant time, it seems like he just wanted his life back: Rogue made Permalight, the most active, physical, and fun album the Oakland band has ever released.
Rogue Wave have two solid albums to their name (Out of the Shadow, Descended Like Vultures), but both used distorted guitars for texture more than visceral force, and had no dance-related influence unless you count playing in waltz time. Unfortunately, and perhaps predictably, their new drive can be awkward. Even more unfortunately, it's most notable on what should be their catchiest songs. "Good Morning (The Future)" seems to think the future is IDM + fey indie songwriting à la the Postal Service. (Hey, it worked for Owl City.) Both "Good Morning" and the title track are hooky, but both come off like pep talks when they hope to seem like ecstatic roars. The chintzy vocal effects aim tobe inspired production touches; instead, they feel hastily tacked on, almost arbitrary....full text
PopmattersRogue Wave, originally a Bright Eyes-style one man band helmed by Zach Rogue with assistance from Nathan Petty and Alex Sterling, has experienced an interesting and personally disappointing progression over the past six years. Shortly after getting caught up in the post-Garden State/O.C. wave of indie pop, Rogue decided to recruit a full band and fill out his sound. While the result, 2005’s Descended by Vultures, didn’t fail to entertain, it felt like a less unique representation of Rogue’s songs. In his attempt to create a bigger picture, he lost some of the clarity in his songwriting and arrangements that made his debut such a light, enjoyable summer listen.
Whether Rogue noticed this or not, he and his band left Sub Pop for Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records and recruited longtime Yo La Tengo producer Roger Moutenot to clean up the rough edges. Unfortunately, fan reaction was mostly mixed and many of my biggest fears felt like they were being confirmed; Rogue was just more interesting as a solo performer....full text
Avclubindie-rock solo project on 2003’s Out Of The Shadow to big and dreamy on 2005’s Descended Like Vultures to dense (and unfortunately a bit lethargic) with 2007’s Asleep At Heaven’s Gate. Now the band has focused its attention on having fun, a response to leader Zach Rogue finally being able to move after two herniated disks left him debilitated for months. (The group is no stranger to trying circumstances, including well-documented kidney problems for drummer Pat Spurgeon and the death of former bassist Evan Farrell.) Rogue Wave has always been a pop band, which is why it’s odd that this turn of events ends up feeling like a risky move. There isn’t as much room for subtlety in Permalight’s quest for the ultimate hook, which means fans need to prepare themselves for electro-pop, songs that sound indebted to “Hey Ya!” and Blur, and lyrics like “Turn the light / on tonight / permalight / say goodnight.” The new formula will undoubtedly freak out some folks not used to shaking it like a Polaroid picture, but those willing to give the whole package a chance will be rewarded with a robust disc that deftly balances mindless fun with mindful focus....full text
Rogue Wave Album Reviews
Sweetslyrics Top 20 Artists
Rogue Wave Lyrics
Would you have