Rogue Wave Out of the Shadow

Rogue Wave Out of the Shadow
San Francisco’s Rogue Wave arrive as a breath of fresh air amongst an endless amount of terribly boring and complacent indie rock acts that are spawned each year in a failed attempt to add something new to the genre. Granted, Zach Rogue’s voice — equal parts Death Cab’s Ben Gibbard and Built to Spill’s Doug Martsch — may give the band an instant familiarity and let on that we’ve heard all of this before, but it’s the band’s insistence on playing with the by-the-books indie rock formula, coupled with their fondness for Elephant 6’s heyday, that makes Out of the Shadow such an accomplished debut. Though many of his songs centre themselves around straight-forward three- or four-chord progressions, Rogue’s ear for a simple pop hook, not too far removed from the Shins’ James Mercer or +/-’s James Baluyut, manages to effortlessly carry the majority of Shadow, especially highlights "Nourishment Nation,” "Falcon Settles Me” and "Man-Revolutionary.” But the album’s real centrepiece is "Endgame,” a synth-driven pop ballad that perfectly combines Elliott Smith’s more Lennon-influenced efforts with Self’s playful arrangements. By the end of the track’s psych-folk epilogue, which wouldn’t have been out of place on the latest Animal Collective record, it’s difficult not to recognise Rogue Wave as more than "just another,” and, like label-mates the Shins, one of our great new indie rock hopes. (Sub Pop)