Rogue Sounds started in 2008 ‘to create more accessible instrumental music’ and released a couple of demos and then their debut EP in 2010. They recently released this album, “Jupiter and Beyond The Infinite”, on March 10 of this year. I am happy to give this a listen and write a few words about my experience with it. The tag-line is right up my alley, boasting to incorporate pieces of electronica, space rock, post-metal and post-rock.
Straight out of the gate we are sent right into pulsing, vibrant beats. “Wormsign” showcases the band’s unique tone selection and tempts us with a faster tempo than more established bands tend to offer on an opening track. My favorite part of the song is the last minute or so when we are treated to spiraling guitars over a throbbing, staccato rhythm section. We’re immediately thrown into the next jet-fueled track without much downtime. “25th Parallel North” was the first track I had heard by Rogue Sounds, prompting me to hunt down their bandcamp page where I was glad to see ‘name your price.’ That means no agonizing decision, just grab a good quality file and put the headphones on. What I begin to notice in this second track is the use of synths to affect the atmosphere of the track. I’m starting to feel as if we’re spinning off into space, which may be due to the album title and cover art but enhanced by the subtle synth background use. The guitar work here is angular and interesting, weaving between static riffs and meandering picking, reminiscent of Russian Circles’ early work. We finally get some sort of outro at the end of this track to take a small breather after these uptempo songs. “Mission to the Sun” introduces synths over a drum machine, showing good range of instrument incorporation. It’s almost an 8-bit feel to the vocal harmony, definitely getting my head to bobbing – very organic and ethereal feel for all of these digitized instruments. I dig.
It’s time to rocket out of the atmosphere again when “Solar Nebula” opens to shimmering synth vibes layered behind driving guitar work. The song is sort of backwards, we start off really high then the band gradually leans back, gets comfortable and starts to groove. Midway, we’re treated to an interlude when silence engulfs us before repeating the reversed cycle of climax-build-gather. The second half of the song gets much more interesting as the guitarist treats us to some interesting loops, then the song ends suddenly. We’re thrown into what could almost be described as a dubstep intro for the track “Continuum Storm.” The drum machine appears to be broken and just randomly playing beats. The synths are the highlights here on this short track, which is only meant to warm us up for the closer, “LV-426.” The song slowly opens us, we have the same formula of atmospheric synths, a la God is an Astronaut, over shining guitars and pulsing beats, but the tone here feels much darker. The final few minutes seem to aspire to greatness, building on a theme and running with it. There’s a promise of something huge looming, but in the end I don’t get the release. I expected a heavier breakdown, possibly having to bang my head a little bit, but it doesn’t happen.
Overall it is a solid album, treading on ground rarely covered by this style of music, where we see incorporation of synths and electronic programming. The mood is mostly upbeat, ethereal and pulsating. The band shows us a range of movements in this short album, displaying skill with traditional instruments as well as incorporating some electronic elements, which is a welcome change for this style of music. – 10/3/12
You’ll find Rogue Sounds – Jupiter And Beyond The Infinite on their bandcamp page, name your price.
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