Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: Death Cab for Cutie, Elephant 6, Permalight, Phoenix, Rogue Wave, The Shins
PREVIEW: VISIT Rogue Wave’s MySpace
WE GIVE IT: 9/20
There is hardly a reason to give Rogue Wave’s new album Permalight more than a single listen. Not because the album is terrible, but rather because Permalight comes off as boring. Mind-numbingly, ear-dullingly boring. It’s sun-drenched, synthesizer-driven indie rock, just you’ll find in a thousand car commercials. Rogue Wave used to be an interesting part of the musical landscape; essentially a Elephant 6 band with the twee removed and a poppier sound. Rogue Wave were never great, but they were likable enough. But now, either in a misguided attempt to sell out (one that obviously isn’t working) or an even more misguided attempt to follow their muse, they’ve remade themselves into Death Cab For Cutie’s less talented cousin.
Songs like “Per Anger” and “We Will Make A Song Destroy” are fine. There’s nothing overtly wrong with their jangly guitars and sing-along lyrics. They’re pleasant enough, and they certainly won’t actively repel the listener. It’s just that being pleasant isn’t reason enough to listen to Permalight. Rogue Wave does absolutely nothing to distinguish itself from Death Cab, Phoenix or The Shins— bands that do the same thing as Rogue Wave, just much better. The whole album comes off feeling derivative and uninspired, with songs that are not even catchy enough for listeners to forget that fact.
Overall, Permalight is the very definition of a mediocre record. It’s not bad enough to hate it, but there’s nothing in here that could justify playing it. The only response it elicits is a great big shrug.