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Despite having their music featured in Heroes, The O.C and Spiderman 3, Rogue Wave has never truly managed to become a household name. This isn’t through a lack of trying from frontman Zach Rogue, who has managed to switch out three bassists during the band’s eight year existence. Their latest offering on Brushfire Records offers some of their most polished and commercially accessible material to date, but never experiments to the point that you’ll want to seek them out in the future.

The Californian five set has spent the last year in Mississippi working on Permalight, their fourth studio album. None of the twelve tracks ever break new ground, but they’re produced well and offer an enjoyable, if slightly shallow experience.

Solitary Gun opens with some twisting vocals that feel like they’ve been ripped straight off the latest Kings of Leon record. Thankfully this intro is quickly replaced by a drum beat and guitar part that effectively conveys their trademark sense of pace and distance. The lyrics are deceptively optimistic, initially describing the process of moving on with ‘Go to where the people go/ we’ll dig some decent wine’. However, fans who look deeper will realise that underneath the light chord changes is a warning of escape, echoing in the chorus’ tag line ‘They’re putting clothes to flame, an imaginary sun/ a little boot heel down for a solitary gun’. It’s a rare creative moment and one which is unfortunately ruined by an oddly placed synth sequence at the end of the track.

Good Morning (The Future) jumps between traditional indie rock and the electro influence of The Postal Service, confidently replacing the bass sections with a loud, thumping digital replacement. It ticks all of the right boxes for casual listeners, but feels overly familiar for anyone who has been following the alternative rock genre over the past few years.

Rogue Wave truly make a mark when they strip away the numerous instrumental layers and allow you to appreciate just a couple of parts individually. Fear Itself stands out with its calming, pitch perfect vocals and simplistic guitar parts, sweeping delicately into the chorus with some thoughtful string sections. The crashing bass pedal of drummer Pat Spurgeon gives an excellent contrast to the tranquil harmony of Zach Rogue, elevating the scale of the song far beyond their more acoustic rivals.

Each track on Permalight commendably tries a new approach to presenting Rogue Wave’s musical style, but only ever manages to mimic the success of other bands. It feels like the group is always timidly testing the water, hoping to please absolutely everybody by offering a track that they’ve already heard elsewhere. Until they take the artistic leap of sticking to one, unique musical style they will always be seen as second place to the artists that they’re emulating. It’s frustrating to see Rogue Wave fail to meet the potential that their label and fans can clearly see, especially when there are a few peppered moments of brilliance on each of their records.

Zack Rogue torments the listener by presenting his band’s pinnacle track at the very end. Concluding Permalight with just over sixty seconds of fantastically minimalist instrumentals, it echoes everything that Rogue Wave could, and should become. Commercial radio stations will lap this record up because of its uplifting vibe and accessible lyrics, but those looking for a full set of creative songs will need to wait for the inevitable next installment.

Official site: www.roguewavemusic.com
Order Permalight: www.apple.com/itunes

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The BBC is apparently too large. So much niche and dead weight has accumulated on the behemoth’s website that the license fee simply cannot afford to keep funding it. The large quantities that are needed to maintain quality in the BBC’s primary services, such as terrestrial channels and FM radio stations is becoming harder to obtain. The ridiculous answer is to axe some of its services, including the highly prolific BBC 6 Music.

The buzz slogan that is being thrown around by their office monkeys is the need for ‘quality, rather than quantity’. By narrowing the outlets of the BBC and ensuring that they are of the highest impeccable standard, they believe the company will keep its reputation as the flagship of British broadcasting. I can agree that there maybe some truth in the outlook that proving a few excellent services, rather a dozen poor ones, is a better path to strive for.

Yet I would argue that Mark Thompson, the current Director-General of the BBC has forgotten that his company should be the safe haven of public service broadcasting. That is, to provide a range of services to our society that meets every niche and minority audience’s needs. No group should be left neglected and no service should be cut in the economic hunt for larger audiences and listeners.

BBC 6 Music was set up eight years ago and has always brought in a steady audience that is respectable for its platform. It’s important to remember that 6 Music is digital and online only. Most house owners still don’t have a DAB radio in their kitchen and it’s even rarer to be able to pick it up in your car. Tucked away in one of the darkest recesses of the BBC’s website, this is a service that listeners have sought out time and time again from the comfort of their personal computers.

George Lamb, presenter for BBC 6 Music's weekend mornings

The presence of DJs such as Jarvis Cocker and Steve Lamacq has arguably raised the credibility of the station far above the naivety of Radio 1 alternatives Greg James and Westwood. The management team behind 6 Music are intelligent enough to put bands in their live lounge that are exciting and fresh, waiting to break through and utterly deserving of commercial success. In comparison, the Radio 1 Live Lounge has become a place for millionaire musicians to plug their record for the umpteenth time and guarantee that it loiters in the charts for another fortnight.

The 620,000 weekly viewers and 73,000+ Facebook protesters believe that BBC 6 Music is a public service worth saving. To put it into perspective, the tiny online radio station (that has only had one TV advertisement that I can remember) attracts a bigger community than The Times, a daily newspaper distributed in newsagents everywhere.


BBC Radio Asian Network
is also set to be slashed. When it was created, I’m sure BBC officials would have proclaimed it as a fundamental and crucial public service for the Asian community. What will their excuse be now? Something along the lines of: “Actually, we don’t feel they need it any more”?! The British Asian community has, if anything, probably grown in recent years and therefore needs the service more than ever.

If the BBC needs to save money, why not cut the ridiculously high celebrity staff wages? Quality need not be expensive. Talented presenters and DJs should stay at the BBC for the pride of working in one of the most dynamic broadcasting companies in the world. Those that are concerned only by their pay packet should be swapped for individuals who respect the position. That way maybe we could save a couple of radio stations that Britain has grown to love.

Photography by Kate Green

The shrill, formidable cry of fifteen year-old teenagers echoes throughout the miniaturised stadium with frightening ferocity. The entrance of vocalist Hayley Williams skipping onto the stage (and now sporting long blonde hair) is enough to send the army of converse and skinny jeans strapped youngsters into a frenzy of lust.

Supporting acts Now, Now Every Children, Paper Route and You Me At Six are strangely quiet, but Paramore rectifies this by launching onto the stage with incredible volume. The introductory riff of their 2009 record Brand New Eyes lifts everyone in the stands up onto their feet, clapping in rhythm as they wait for Hayley’s voice to penetrate.

Yet despite being three albums strong (their latest claiming the UK no.1 in September) Hayley Williams’ voice begins rather nervously. Her projection is absent in the first two songs of their set list, setting a timid start to the final leg of their fall tour. Fortunately, all of the fans that have made it to London are singing in unison and help save the show until Hayley can find her way.

Guitarists Josh Farrow and Taylor York are flawless from the very beginning, working together beautifully with obvious practise and experience. That’s What You Get really signals the start of the Wembley performance, as all five members pour out their energy into keeping the crowd satisfied. Hayley jumps and kicks her way across the stage in a red tank top vest, gripping a striped red and yellow microphone without a hint of discomfort. Her diaphragm seems at ease and allows her to hit all the difficult notes, even throwing in some spoken lyrics to keep the live performance unique.

The backdrop behind them is a stereotypical red curtain, peppered with hanging art frames that mimic the artwork from Brand New Eyes. New tracks Turn It Off and Looking Up build on the ‘feel good’ atmosphere resonating from the band’s speakers, with some exceptional stand out fills from drummer Zac Farro. This leads into the halfway point, where the lights dim and Hayley addresses the crowd directly. They’ve received a letter recently and decide to call a couple to the stage, standing back with glee as a twenty-something male proposes to his girlfriend. It’s a nice touch and gives the band some time to thank their team and fans, ending with a triumphant ‘We. Are. Paramore!’ before catapulting themselves into the next track.

Sell out tours and a strong global presence means that Paramore have a large selection of singles to choose from. As a result none of their set list feels like its been made to fill time, with a few obscure choices from 2005 record All We Know Is Falling actually helping to give the performance its own personality. Emotional ballad The Only Exception calls for the crowd to raise their lighters and mobile phones, a now rather generic ploy to increase audience participation. Still, it has the desired effect and pulls everyone together, heightening the experience for their last trio of hits.

Misery Business might be overplayed by radio stations and Guitar Hero fanatics, but it still manages to burrow into the hearts of their listeners. Everyone bounces along with smiles plastered across their faces, the note perfect performance giving everyone a reason to cheer the Tennessee rockers along. Brick By Boring Brick ends the show on a fantastic high, the deep lyrics and catchy riffs signifying how the band have matured over the past 5 years. Watching them bow to the crowd, I must admit I was a little disappointed to see them leave without a true encore. However, if they can continue to make music at this standard – I think we’ll be seeing Paramore return to London for many years to come.

Main Set

1. Brand New Eyes Intro
2. Ignorance
3. I Caught Myself
4. That’s What You Get
5. Looking Up
6. Crushcrushcrush
7. Turn It Off
8. The Only Exception
9. Pressure
10. Careful
11. Where The Lines Overlap
12. Decode
13. My Heart

Encore

1. Misguided Ghosts
2. Misery Business
3. Brick By Boring Brick

Unless you’re a keen fan of anime or Japanese music, you probably won’t have heard of this group. Oreskaband are an all female, six member ska band from Sakai in Japan that started out when they were in middle school. The band name, Oreskaband literally translates to ‘we’re a ska band’ and plays on some gender formalities in Japanese culture (ore is a very masculine way to say ‘I’). This is personified by the male, punky school uniforms that they wear on stage and in their videos.

Ikasu, Tae, Leader, Saki, Moriko and Tomi make up Oreskaband

Ikasu, Tae, Leader, Saki, Moriko and Tomi make up Oreskaband

They began in 2003, meeting after school and playing at every local club they could find. They self-produced their first album, Penpal in 2005 before signing onto Sony Music in 2006 while they were still in high school. Ska isn’t really a growing genre at the moment, so to have such a youthful, modern take on it is really unique. The lyrics are catchy and their big smiles on stage make them instantly likable.

A large array of instruments and harmonies mean that each song is recognizable, but completely different from the rest of their material. After doing an advert for the popular Japanese sweet ‘Pocky’, their popularity skyrocketed a few years ago and they were asked to do some much larger venues in Japan. Their songs have even featured in the credits of the highly popular shows Bleach and Naruto.

With a few smaller albums under their belts, they compiled their best tracks into a self titled album for America. Supporting the Vans Warped Tour for the past two years, it looks like Oreskaband are just starting to build a reputation on Western shores. Having left education early, they take their music seriously now and are well underway with writing for their new album. A teaser trailer showed them starring in an upcoming movie, so the six teenagers from Sakai are definitely driving forward. From the album released in America, I recommend checking out the tracks Pinnocchio and Chuck.

Official Website
Official Myspace
English translated blog

Hi and welcome to on the pulse, an online magazine where you’ll find information on music and culture in Bournemouth and the South of England, including info. on gigs, reviews and much more.

For now the magazine is online here but we’re aiming to produce a printed version sometime in the future.

Please enjoy the site and you can give us feedback by commenting or emailing us at:
make.musicnotwar@yahoo.co.uk

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