Asleep At Heaven's Gate
Rogue Wave are very much a band inspired by folk musicians and lo-fi indie rocker pioneers, so their music may sound familiar upon first listen. Is that a bad thing? They may not be plowing any new territories, but sometimes it's a good thing to settle into a band that's new to the ears yet somehow sounds like an old friend.
I have this ongoing debate with my girlfriend about bands that sound like other bands. When I listen to Reno Divorce or Born To Lose, she says, "Why not just listen to Social Distortion? They sound the same, and you love that band." My reply, "...because sometimes I'm not in the mood for the same Social D songs I've played to death over the years and I'd like to hear something new that I can imagine is actually them." The same conversation arises when I listen to a band like Wolfmother, Deadboy & the Elephantman, or The Black Keys. "Just put on The White Stripes again," she says.
If I were to turn up Rogue Wave's Asleep at Heaven's Gate, depending on which song I cranked up, it could be argued that I could just as easily put on R.E.M. ("Own Your Own Home"), Nick Drake ("Christians in Black"), The Shins ("Lake Michigan"), or Coldplay ("Cheaper Than Therapy").
Rogue Wave has given indie music fans an album that touches upon many of their favorite artists all at once. It's familiar flavor will most likely be its downfall in the eyes of most critics, but I'm enjoying the hell out of these songs I feel I've heard before.