Rogue Wave

Asleep at Heaven's Gate (Brushfire)

Phases & Stages

Rogue Wave

Asleep at Heaven's Gate (Brushfire)

The difference between Rogue Wave's third LP and their second, 2005's Descended Like Vultures (Sub Pop), is clear from the first note of the opening track, "Harmonium." Where earlier "Bird on a Wire" swooped and swayed melodically, the Asleep at Heaven's Gate kick-off starts out with an allegro-paced drum solo and a long instrumental introduction that sets a tone for the entire album. The Oakland quartet, now on Jack Johnson's Brushfire imprint, has a greater sense of urgency, sharper edges, and a more mature sound overall. And yet, tunes like "Chicago x 12" and "Christians in Black" remain relentlessly pretty, while the opening strains of "Own Your Own Home" embrace the ugly, occasional discordances of life. All bands should demonstrate this kind of growth between releases, resulting in a Janus-like miniepic that encompasses the beauty that came before but also welcomes the vagaries of the future. (Rogue Wave matures at the Parish Friday, Jan. 25.)

****

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