Review Summary: The return of Zach Rogue. Well, sort of.
Just last year, Zach Rogue, the main brain of indie rock/pop group Rogue Wave, released an album titled Come Back To Us. The album was written entirely on his own, using the moniker Release the Sunbird. With the help of vocalist Kate Long, Rogue had successfully composed a collection of mainly acoustic songs (save for the opening and closing tracks) that just barely had the capacity to hold a listener's attention for a full forty minutes. Numerous songs had dragging choruses, certain songs sounded like there was content was missing that could have greatly contributed to the album's atmosphere, and the piece as a whole offered little variation from Rogue's primary band. For the most part, Come Back To Us bore the sound one would expect to hear from Zach Rogue, or any other indie musician with an acoustic guitar willing to write music on their own for that matter. No surprises here. Then, out of nowhere, came along Rogue again with Imaginary Summer EP
, another collection of songs entirely his own. Nothing too exciting, right"
This time around, Rogue jumps back into the process of writing songs that are both upbeat and laid back, a style of song-writing that fans of Rogue Wave are already familiar with. Improvements from Release the Sunbird’s debut can be heard straight off the bat with opening track “I Will Walk,” where Rogue makes use of numerous instruments other than the acoustic to give the music a full-band sound. Whether or not this is what he was aiming for, he certainly proves it is what he is best at and should stick to it. Of course, this is not to say that Rogue cannot create a decent acoustic track. “Here You Are” features nothing but Rogue, his guitar, and the faint use of percussion and the very pleasant use of a banjo towards the song’s close, and is possibly one of the best folk-oriented song he has written since the Out of the Shadow
Indie rock lovers should enjoy Imaginary Summer EP
plenty. However, while proving that Zach Rogue does have some surprises up his sleeves for Release the Sunbird’s future, Imaginary Summer EP
still suffers from flukes that could probably not have been avoided no matter what. While completely eliminating the issue of boring and repetitive choruses, Rogue’s latest offering still seems to be missing vital material. This, however, is most likely a result of the inevitable mistake of releasing an EP filled with songs that probably should have been placed on his next full length feature. Also, Imaginary Summer EP
is going to make it harder for listeners to come to the realization that Release the Sunbird is in fact not Rogue Wave. Again, writing songs that were meant for a full indie band may just be what Zach Rogue is really cut out to do.