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Descended Like Vultures

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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. 


Formed: 2002 in Oakland, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Rogue Wave formed in 2002 when a newly unemployed Zach Rogue left his San Francisco home, visited friends in New York City, and returned to California with nearly a full album's worth of textured, cerebral indie pop. Rogue then quit his post in his previous group, the Desoto Reds, and finished the album, which was released on Rogue's own Responsive label under the title Out of the Shadow. As he was completing the record, Rogue decided to form a band in order to perform the material live, and he soon...
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Descended Like Vultures, Rogue Wave
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