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Asleep At Heaven's Gate

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iTunes Review

Thirty seconds into “Harmonium,” the song that opens Rogue Wave’s third album Asleep at Heaven’s Gate, it becomes clear that they’ve gelled as a band and are eager to make a statement. Where their first two albums (both lo-fi, low-key gems) sounded loose, off-the-cuff, and vulnerable, the band is all polished precision here. Singer and songwriter Zack Rogue has a knack for melody and big hooks and Asleep is loaded with both (“Chicago X 12” is one of his best songs yet). With the exception of a pair of lovely, relatively subdued and straight-forward ballads (“Christian in Black,” “Missed”) the rest of the songs are honed to the finest detail, whether it’s a single ringing guitar note, a flourish of shimmering cymbals, or a piano chord drenched in reverb. By embracing the studio in a big way, they’ve created a dense, effects-laden sound heavy with overdubbed spacey guitars and dreamy keyboards, a liberal use of echo on the vocals, and lots of layered harmonies, and the often gorgeous results mark an interesting new direction for this promising band.

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Biography

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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Asleep At Heaven's Gate, Rogue Wave
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