Rogue Wave: Asleep at Heaven's Gate

By: Sarah Moore

Rogue Wave's Asleep at Heaven's Gate (Brushfire) opens contrary to the album's title with "Harmonium" signaling the start of a new day. Edgy and upbeat, the Oakland-based group churns out epic, multi-layered pop songs that utilize electronic effects (courtesy of Pat Spurgeon) at key points to give their music a fibrous effervescence.

Led by Zach Rogue, Rogue Wave puts its own stamp on the pop world, especially with this fresh set of complex tunes. Time signatures shift and melodies fold into freer versions of themselves. "Lake Michigan" begins with open, loose drumming until hand clapping transitions the song into fast-talking lyrics against a padded instrumental backing. Harmonies erupt, creating a dynamic that's one part glorious and one part subtle. In fact, the brilliant harmonies stand out on most of the album. Though they hail from California, Rogue Wave sounds slightly British, particularly Zach Rogue's puerile tenor, which suggest a limey Paul Simon. Sometimes rough, sometimes delicate, this diverse disc is one of the best in recent memory.

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[Published on: 1/22/08]

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jambeatnik Tue 1/22/2008 12:10PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Lake Michigan is a fantastic song... decent indie album