June 20 2013
Rogue Wave returns under their new label Vagrant Records to release Nightingale Floors. And while it definitely isn’t a bad album by any means, that doesn’t mean it isn’t forgettable. I kind of dug “No Time” off of the sole commercial opportunity that was Iron Man 3: Heroes Fall, so I definitely had some hopes for this album considering it was recorded in the same session. Unfortunately, they weren’t fulfilled There are some hidden gems on this record, but overall, it just kind of meanders through for 10 songs, leaving one to wonder at the end of it all, “So, is that it?”
If there is one song to grant some praise to, it’s the lead single “College.” It begins with some rapid sixteenth-note sticking on the rim of a drum over some catchy eighth-note progressions on the guitar, before jumping into a thumping surf rock groove. Zach Rogue does close with a solid track though. “Everybody Wants to Be You” is a nice epic, soulful tune that starts off really simple before building into this cruising jam over six minutes before dropping back to its simple start, and after a minute or so of silence, there’s a little acoustic surprise to close things out.
Barring those two songs, there aren’t really any other great takeaways from this album. Most of the melodies are honestly a bit lame, “The Closer I Get” and “When Sunday Morning Comes” being a couple exceptions. But even then, those two cuts are a bit boring otherwise, making it kind of hard to wait around for the fun part. And on the other side of things, the opener “No Magnatone” seems to promise something pretty awesome with its sitar-like effects and double-stopping drums as it begins. Yet, it never really moves on the create anything transcendent. “Used to It” has potential too, making use of what sounds like a rarely utilized 12/8 time signature, but again it never really does anything interesting with it.
If you’re fortunate enough to get your hands on the deluxe version, which comes with four, count ‘em, four extra songs(!), then you may find Nightingale Floors a tad more redeeming than you would otherwise. “When You Walk Away” is awfully cool to listen to, with its eclectic mix of instruments, solid vocal work and lyricism on Rogue’s part, as well as his sick solo towards the end, and Patrick Spurgeon pounds on those drums to considerable effect all the while. For what it’s worth, “Operated” is a pretty enjoyable listen, and “Body Breaks,” while a little too slow, is a fairly impressive waltz, but “Nearly Lost You” is incredibly dismissible.
I’m not really sure if this is a compliment or not, but Nightingale Floors could be worse. It’s a shame that Zach Rogue hasn’t brought his wave to rise to it’s former glory, but he hasn’t totally drowned it either. Better luck next time, I guess.
Rogue Wave will be playing the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage at Summerfest on July 30th at 8:00 PM