If there's progress to be made and healing to be found, Rogue Wave seems up to the challenge.
If there's progress to be made and healing to be found, Rogue Wave seems up to the challenge. Lauren Dukoff
- Song: "Solitary Gun"
- Artist: Rogue Wave
- CD: Permalight
- Genre: Pop
Few bands turn sadness into beauty more effectively than Rogue Wave. And few bands in recent years have experienced as much source material when it comes to personal turmoil: The tragic death of a former band member and a current member's hospitalization after kidney failure helped inspire the band's 2007 album Asleep at Heaven's Gate, one of the decade's most profoundly sad and moving rock records. Since then, frontman Zach Rogue himself has suffered health problems in the form of a slipped disc. So what's the next step for a band that's just taken a few years off for some much-needed convalescence? A dance album, naturally.
With the synth-heavy, up-tempo Permalight, Rogue Wave is back in business and powering ahead into sunnier days. The new album acknowledges the past suffering of its members but puts an encouraging spin on it, as if determined not to wallow. The lead track, "Solitary Gun," provides an apt transition from Asleep at Heaven's Gate to the rest of the lively Permalight, taking the most comforting aspects of the band's cathartic melodies and punching them up; the result is one of the most upbeat pop songs Rogue Wave has made in a long time. The song demonstrates that the group might still struggle to find true contentment — it invokes a weeping mother, as well as images of people setting "the world on fire, just to see it burn" — but if there's progress to be made and healing to be found, Rogue Wave seems up to the challenge.
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