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Rogue Wave
Permalight - Brushfire
FILTER Grade: 80%

By Lauren Barbato on March 26, 2010


Rogue Wave

It’s ironic that Rogue Wave took its name from the textbook term for spontaneously forming waves on the ocean’s surface, for the band has been quite predictable over the years—that is, until Permalight. The band’s fourth studio album strays from gentle indie rock and delves into spurts of dance tempos, synth-driven melodies and highly processed recordings. Although the Oakland, California-based outfit bookends the record with lo-fi charm—the free-spirited “Solitary Gun” and stripped-bare “All That Remains”—Permalight also uncharacteristically departs into euphoric yet contrived electro-pop. “Good Morning” drips with mainstream appeal, while the album’s title track is a hook-heavy and oft-overwhelming Hot Chip imitation, right down to Zach Rogue’s airbrushed vocals. Centerpieces like the soft and effortless “I’ll Never Leave You” prove that Rogue Wave shouldn’t try so hard.

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