Leaving Rouge White Houses

Fans of Raising the Fawn’s atmospheric art-rock may get into this EP by Leaving Rouge but then, so might fans of the wanky noodling of Matthew Good. What began as a studio project for guitarist/vocalist Sean Hoen and multi-instrumentalist Josh Machniak, has finally evolved into a permanent live band, featuring ex-Small Brown Bike bassist Ben Reed and pianist Karl Buzewski. Though differing slightly from the line-up found on the EP, one can imagine that the new band will continue to approach Hoen’s moody, atmospheric rock pieces in a similar fashion. While there is a three-minute pop song ("Like Rome”) on this EP, in general, White Houses consists of drawn-out pieces such as "In Your Twilight” and "Raise Your Love,” that partake in a jarring quiet/loud dynamic and are guided by Hoen’s impassioned, if not bombastic vocals. Though not quite as interesting as RTF and the like, Leaving Rouge’s take on progressive indie rock narrowly escapes being bland by keeping things lush and powerful. (Greyday)