Rogue Wave

Out of the Shadow

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Out of the Shadow by Rogue Wave is one of the better records to completely slip under the radar in 2003. The band is mostly the product of Zach Rogue's low-key brilliance as he writes, sings, and plays everything except for drums and the occasional guitar part. Zach has a great voice with the range to reach some very high and pretty notes. He also has an ear for arrangement and a knack for hooky songwriting. The sound of the record is pitched somewhere between Elephant 6 (without the icky whimsy) and the Northwest gloomcore merchants like Built to Spill or Death Cab for Cutie (without the gloom), with a little bit of classic Baroque folk (Simon & Garfunkel) on the fringes. The songs are split between full-band songs like the charging "Every Moment," the strutting Kinks-flavored "Seasick on Land," or the tough "Endless Shovel" and solo acoustic-based tracks like the bubble-sweet "Be Kind & Remind," the lap steel melancholic "Postage Stamp World," or the very Simon-esque "Man-Revolutionary!." Not a weak link or bit of filler to be found anywhere, either. "Out of the Shadows" is an indie dream come true. A dream like another great Elliott Smith record, or a Sebadoh record that isn't an embarrassment, or a Neutral Milk Hotel record that makes sense. You get the picture. Thanks to Sub Pop for the reissue and for rescuing this gem from the obscurity of microindie wasteland.

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