Like a Rogue Wave

Rogue Wave is one of my favorite bands, traditionally capable of the perfect mix CD track offering. 2005's Descending Like Vultures is an indie gem, catching the band at their absolute hook-laden apex, a lesson in creativity and subtle restraint. The California foursome is set to release their highly-anticipated follow-up on Sept. 18th.

As a fan, it's always hard to separate what we want an album to be like and what the artist ultimately presents. With every new creation, a band's sound and songwriting ebb and flow, sometimes dramatically, and we are left to decide where it all fits in the hierarchy of our musical taste. Case in point, Asleep at Heaven's Gate is by no means a bad album. It is, in fact, a very good album. The quieter moments are especially strong, weaving reverb-filled soundscapes akin to Elliott Smith. There's just not one song that makes my jaw drop like it did when I first heard "Eyes", "Bird on a Wire", "Catform", "Love's Lost Guarantee", "You", "Kicking the Heart Out", or "California." "Lake Michigan" and "Like I Needed" do come close, but do you see what I'm getting at? Solid, solid record. But should I be disappointed that most of the hooks are all but left by the wayside? I think half of me has to be, but the other half can just tell the first half to take a long walk off a short ledge, if you know what I'm saying.

Lake Michigan
[from Asleep at Heaven's Gate (out 9.18)|pre-order]


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