August 06, 2004

Rogue Wave "Out Of the Shadow"

I have a general mistrust of oil-change garages, and it's all due to Rogue Wave. Gram LeBron, one of the kindly Wavers, sent me a copy of their then self-released debut, Out Of The Shadow. I listened to it once that day, and I really enjoyed it. Because I was about to go on a road trip the next day, I took my car into the garage to get my oil changed. When I got my car back, I was horrified to discover that in the process of driving into the garage and driving out of garage, the CD had not-so-mysteriously disappeared. Some rogue mechanic took it, and I was pissed. So instead of venting my anger at the garage, I let it go.

Listening to the Sub Pop reissue, I think it's safe to say that Rogue Wave wouldn't want me to be angry. I don't think Zach Rogue would want me to harbor any kind of ill will towards my fellow man, even if that fellow man did steal their record. Rogue Wave's music is happy and upbeat, and there's not a bit of ill will in anything that they do or say. Blending a Sixties style with modern sensibilities, Rogue Wave's initial musical offering is a gentle collection of songs that will warm you up quite quickly--they are from California, and so they're into that sunshine thing. The music on Out Of The Shadow is acoustic-based and soft, and songs like "Be Kind--Remind" and "Endgame" instantly winning you over. It's quite obvious that Zach Rogue spent a good deal of time listening to Oh, Inverted World!, and though that's not a bad thing, it does restrain the band's ideas. Don't fret, though; you'll be impressed when they pull out the rock on "Endless Shovel" and "Seasick on Land," and when they use that banjo on Elliott Smith-like "Man-Revolutionary," they prove themselves more than imitators..

Even though there are moments where they sound a bit too Shins-like, don't forget that Out Of The Shadowwas a debut album two years ago. I'm sure they've grown up quite a bit since then. Rogue Wave's music is pleasing and enjoyable for moms and dads and college students and thieving oil-change rogue assholes alike.

--Joseph Kyle

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