Over the years Sub Pop has been slowly widening its genre spread. From their acclaimed roster, the band offering the broadest pop spectrum (over the course of one album) is Rogue Wave. The Oakland act, led by Zach Rogue, throws all the winning formulas into the mix—tiny doses of the Beachwood Sparks' magic Parsons ride, a smidge of the Shins' infectiously ebullient choruses, and generous portions of the Helio Sequence's hovering harmonics. Also in the recipe, a dash of the Flaming Lips' magical surrealism and welling walls of sound that flare like Vegas geysers mid-song, creating giant rushes of giddy energy.
The band's latest release, Descended Like Vultures, is initially frustrating due to its clutter of styles. But, as with a basement jammed with hidden gems, deeper explorations uncover songs sharing a wonderful golden glow. Tracks ebb and flow between relatively bare balladry ("Medicine Ball") and lush instrumentation ("Catform"). Their current radio hit, "Publish My Love," sounds like My Bloody Valentine colliding with Teenage Fanclub; it's a gloriously indulgent song over which Rogue states, "You could never publish my love." If you can deal with such an amalgam of styles, Rogue Wave offer a vertiginous ride through the noise-pop firstname.lastname@example.org