6.5

Rogue Wave: Permalight

Music  |  Reviews
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Rogue Wave: <em>Permalight</em>

Going rogue, falling flat

In the three years since Rogue Wave’s last album, frontman Zach Rogue has discovered the synthesizer. This isn’t bad in theory, but in practice the newfound instrument does little to lift Rogue Wave to the next level.

Tracks like the (unfortunately) club-influenced “Good Morning” would be satisfying without the ticking drum-machine and discotheque sampler. Which isn’t to say the band can’t write a punchy jam: “We Will Make a Song Destroy” pleases with dynamic guitar riffs and soaring harmonies. But the best tracks here are the unplugged, mid-tempo lullabies and straightforward (if unenterprising) stripped-down rock tunes—well-worn paths for Rogue Wave. “I’ll Never Leave You,” a simple acoustic promise of fidelity from father to son, works better than the group’s contrived attempts to be dance-floor divas. Sometimes, it’s best to stick with what you know.

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