Rogue Wave's second album is at its heart no great departure from their first. Like Out of the Shadow, Descended Like Vultures is indie rock through and through. There isn't a moment that doesn't feel influenced, borrowed, or previously released by Death Cab, Elliott Smith, Yo La Tengo, Lou Barlow, and so on. Luckily there also isn't a moment that's not tuneful, exciting, or ingratiating; it's second-hand but runs just like new. Indeed, sweet vocal harmonies, melodies that hook you instantly, and arrangements that envelop you in their gooey goodness are still the backbone of the Rogue Wave sound. And again there is a nice mix of rockers ("10:1," "Publish My Love"), mellow and intimate acoustic ballads ("California," "Temporary"), and moody pop tunes ("Catform," "Are You on My Side"). This time out Zach Rogue is joined by a full band, though it's mainly Pat Spurgeon who plays jack of all by providing able backing on drums, guitars, keys, bass, and autoharp. This reliance on other people doesn't tamper with the winning formula much, though the production does. Unlike the first album, which had a homey, lo-fi energy, this one feels shiny and professional like it was cut by real musicians doing it for real in a real studio. The guitars are thick and layered, the drums upfront and loud, the lead vocals very lush and reverbed. It gives the album's big ballads like the opening "Bird on a Wire" or the ebbing-and-flowing "You" a naturally epic feel that other bands have to try way too hard to achieve. Unfortunately, on the rest of the record it adds an extra layer of studio realness that takes away most of the intimate charm the group had so much of previously. With Descended Like Vultures, Rogue Wave have become just another indie rock band, one that has delivered a strong album without a weak song on it, but a real band just the same. Hopefully, the people who fell in love with the first album will stick with Rogue Wave and see through the shine to the substance, because it is there and the album is good, just in a different way.
Performance CreditsRogue Wave Primary Artist
Pat Spurgeon Organ,Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Accordion,Autoharp,Chimes,Cymbals,Drums,Bass Drums,Glockenspiel,Electric Guitar,Hammond Organ,Tambourine,Vocals,Xylophone,Pump Organ,bass pedals,Upright Bass,Casio,Bowed Saw,Group Member,Hammond B3
Gram Lebron Guitar,Percussion,Drums,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Vibes,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer,Group Member
Bill Racine Guitar,Trumpet,Hammond Organ,Hammond B3
Zach Rogue Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Percussion,Piano,Electric Guitar,Hammond Organ,Vocals,Pump Organ,Wurlitzer,Piano Strings,Casio,Group Member,Hammond B3
Evan Farrell Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Lap Steel Guitar,Wurlitzer,Group Member
Aerielle Levy Cello
Gene Park Viola
Technical CreditsPat Spurgeon Engineer
Gram Lebron Digital System Operator
Bill Racine Producer,Engineer,drum programming,Audio Production
Zach Rogue Composer,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
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Descended Like Vultures based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.