13 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Descended Like Vultures is a low-key, indie-pop gem packed with plenty of hooks, sweet melodies, and a judicious use of spacey effects and reverberated vocals. Rogue Wave’s memorable debut, 2004’s Out of the Shadow, was basically a Zach Rogue solo project; this time he adds a three-piece backing band to achieve a fuller sound. And fuller it is, especially on the noisy “10:1” and the densely packed “You” and “Love’s Lost Guarantee.” But the band contributes more than volume. The up-tempo songs are warm and dynamic, featuring layered guitars, subtle strings, strong harmonies, and synthesizers that rise like steam from the studio murk and then dissolve away. Rogue possesses a high, lingering voice that lives somewhere between drowsy and detached, making certain lines hard to pick out. But if some lyrics are difficult to discern, the mood is not — think temporary rainy reclusion as opposed to permanent angst, a tone he nails perfectly on “Temporary” and “California,” two gorgeous acoustic ballads. Here’s hoping that Rogue keeps this band around next time he ventures into the studio. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Descended Like Vultures is a low-key, indie-pop gem packed with plenty of hooks, sweet melodies, and a judicious use of spacey effects and reverberated vocals. Rogue Wave’s memorable debut, 2004’s Out of the Shadow, was basically a Zach Rogue solo project; this time he adds a three-piece backing band to achieve a fuller sound. And fuller it is, especially on the noisy “10:1” and the densely packed “You” and “Love’s Lost Guarantee.” But the band contributes more than volume. The up-tempo songs are warm and dynamic, featuring layered guitars, subtle strings, strong harmonies, and synthesizers that rise like steam from the studio murk and then dissolve away. Rogue possesses a high, lingering voice that lives somewhere between drowsy and detached, making certain lines hard to pick out. But if some lyrics are difficult to discern, the mood is not — think temporary rainy reclusion as opposed to permanent angst, a tone he nails perfectly on “Temporary” and “California,” two gorgeous acoustic ballads. Here’s hoping that Rogue keeps this band around next time he ventures into the studio. 

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