Thursday, January 26, 2017

Rogue Wave - Cover Me (2016, Easy Sound)

I tend not to open new vinyl releases, and that extends to Record Store Day titles as well.  In fact, I held off unsealing this one for two whole months in hopes that a digital version of Rogue Wave's wax-only, Black Friday RSD title Cover Me album would surface, but this time no dice.  Granted, it was only limited to 1500 copies, plus it didn't come with a download code...but anyway.  So far as the band goes, I was hip to Rogue Wave's 2003 debut, Out of the Shadow, even before Sub Pop picked it up a year later.  I warmed to Zack Rogue's DIY adaptation of the Death Cab For Cutie homage thing quickly, but by the time his band's fourth or fifth album rolled around they had assumed a more "professional" indie rock penchant that was too samey and slick for my ears. 

Nonetheless, this record composed of renditions of nine mainstream-ish tunes, circa the Reagan-era, was enough to get me back on board.  It's hard to make generalities about Cover Me, much like it's difficult to make generalities regarding Rogue Wave themselves.  If there's a common thread binding this endeavor it's that straight covers aren't an option for Zack and Co. - even if that means retooling ZZ Top's "Sharped Dressed Man" with Casios.  It's the more faithful interpretations on Cover Me that translate best - "In Between Days" (Cure), for example.  I'm reluctant to give this type of criticism, but taking a dull piece like Genesis' "That's All" and altering it into something even more flaccid isn't a hot idea, nor is expanding "Under the Milky Way" into a languid, yawn-inducing, six-minute exercise.  I kinda dig what they did with "She Sells Sanctuary" and "Let My Love Open the Door."  As for RW's take on "Bette Davis Eyes," I believe I find more merit in Alvin and the Chipmunks rendering of the Kim Carnes classic.  Make of this what you will.

01. Rescue
02. In Between Days
03. Let My Love Open the Door
04. That's All
05. Bette Davis Eyes
06. Sharp Dressed Man
07. She Sells Sanctuary
08. Under the Milky Way
09. Talking in Your Sleep


M-----l said...

I guess it doesn't matter now that you've made your own digital version, but my copy of Cover Me definitely came with a download code. I'm listening to it as I type this.

Another strange thing about this release is that the original RSD listing mentioned three songs that didn't make it onto the final record. I remember "Love My Way" by Psychedelic Furs was one of them. Maybe that and the other missing songs will show up on a 7" one of these days (with a code!).

The Salvager said...

Thanks for this!

spavid said...

Well, I dug a little deeper into the sleeve, and voila, it was there after all. Thanks for the heads. Yes, I noticed some of the songs on the RSD track list were absent. Bummer.