Tuesday, February 16th, 2010
Review of Rogue Wave’s Permalight and giveaway
MySpaceRogue Wave’s 2003 debut Out Of The Shadow was aptly named, considering they’d spend the first few years of their existence trying to accomplish just that from their labelmates The Shins. Both helped Sub Pop shed its hard rock reputation and redefine itself as the go-to label for quality indie-pop, but it was The Shins that busted out into mainstream success while Rogue Wave toiled away to just modest acclaim.
Fast-forward a few (or more than a few years) and Sub Pop is now known as sensitive bearded dude central, The Shins are down to just frontman James Mercer and on hiatus, and Rogue Wave trundles on. No longer on Sub Pop, the lineup has changed a number of times – frontman Zach Schwartz and drummer Pat Spurgeon the only constants – and endured more than their fair share of hardships and tragedies including but not limited to paralysis, organ failure and death. But with their fourth album Permalight, due out March 2, they have come out through it all with possibly the most upbeat and enjoyable album yet.
Their sound has taken exceptionally well to the addition of electronic elements, the injection of synths and loops helping the record’s standout tracks reach an orbit that earlier albums had only hinted at. The simple folk-pop structures, sharp melodicism and gentle, dreamy vocals that have always lain at the heart of Schwartz’s compositions remain, but the production augments them, Steve Austin-style, such that the tunes feel tauter, more dynamic and hookier than certainly I ever thought they’d be able to deliver. Numbers such as “Good Morning” and the title track burst forth from the speakers with technicolour vim, sounding not like a band beaten down by life but buoyed by it, despite it all. Shins, the ball is in your court.
Rogue Wave on tour starting at the end of this month and through April in support of the new record. They’re playing the Mod Club in Toronto on February 26 – tickets are $15 in advance, but courtesy of LiveNation, I’ve got three pairs of passes to give away to the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to ride the Rogue Wave” in the subject line and your full name in the body – contest closes at midnight, February 22. And while you’re angling for free Rogue Wave stuff, head over here to trade your email for a download of the album’s opening track.
Kurt Vile will play an in-store at Criminal Records on Friday, February 26th in advance of his show opening up for Fucked Up at the Opera House later that evening.
Exact time to be determined. In-store goes at 6:30PM.
Illness has forced Kings Of Convenience to postpone their North American tour, which was supposed to start last week. That’s postponed, not canceled – the February 18 date at The Phoenix will be made up on June 8, same venue.