It is very druggy stuff, reminiscent of very early, Chasing a Bee era Mercury Rev, (albeit with that particular band's rough edges smoothed away).
Rogue Wave – Descended Like Vultures
Bird on a Wire is a brilliant psychedelic opener to a very varied album. In fact, Bird on a Wire, with its sinuous, sensual nature, and crashing chorus has got to be my favourite album opener this past week at least (that's the fast moving world of pop for you kids...) This song has so much panache and muscle that it captivated me completely and meant that I kept neglecting the rest of the LP. Which is daft really, because there are other sublime moments on Descended Like Vultures. The second track, Publish My Love is another thumping psychedelic hymn, with a great lazy drugged-out drawl inherent in the vocal part. And the fun doesn't stop there. Salesman at the Day of the Parade is a beautiful West Coast acoustic meditation whereas Catform is a brilliant song-swirl, again feeling very Californian in its outlook that builds up into a menacing metal growl replete with vocal harmony arrangements that had me thinking of the Byrds (or Gram Parsons at the very least).
The band's strengths - arranging and building up emotional tension through great dynamics and sonic arrangements are there in splendid effect on Love's Lost Guarantee. It's a fabulous track given a great deal of extra thump through the stop-start, warm-cold nature of the music. 10:1 is the first track at that can be described as rocky in the true sense, though even here the band keeps its ethereal, detached air intact. And, as in keeping with the rest of the LP there's a good deal of weird guitar effects barging in and causing a commotion.
In contrast California is a gilded, delicate acoustic number that for some reasons reminds me of a very polished Bob Pollard song (no, I don't know why either). There's a return to the big sound, albeit a sound that's severely harnessed on Are You on My Side, though there's one hell of a build up, a scurrying acoustic leads the melody for most of the track. A brief and breezy semi-acoustic interval is brought in by Medicine Ball before You swamps everything in its languid path. Everything is to the max here, the beautiful melodies and harmonies counterbalance the epic production. It is very druggy stuff, reminiscent of very early, Chasing a Bee era Mercury Rev, (albeit with that particular band's rough edges smoothed away).
Well, what's left? Temporary is your traditional quiet track album closer and as such is pleasant enough, but a song that somewhat diminishes the majesty of what preceded it. No matter, this is a great album and a real surprise. Check it out.
Words: Richard Foster.