Over the past couple of years, San
Francisco’s Rogue Wave has been shadowed by comparisons
to laid back beach rocker Jack Johnson. The fact that band founder and frontman
Zach Rogue and Johnson happen to be buddies and label mates (Johnson owns and
records on Brushfire Records) certainly don’t help matters.
But on Permalight,
Rogue Wave’s fourth and latest effort, the comparisons just don’t ring true anymore.
Relying pretty heavily on synths this time out, the band’s sound is still decidedly
lo-fi pop, though a bit more polished than previous efforts. Musically, Permalight is less weighty than the
first few efforts and on tracks like “Star and Stripes” and “You Have Boarded” it
actually sounds like the guys are enjoying themselves. But lyrically the band
still deals with some tough subjects, like death and parenthood.
Though not perfect, there are plenty of enough bright spots
on their latest to make Permalight one of the band’s best efforts to date.
Standout Tracks: “You
Have Boarded,” “Stars and Stripes” JOHN B. MOORE