Keeping the Dream Alive

Rogue Wave

So. It appears Better Than Ezra are back. Yes, back. And with a cover of "Laid," originally recorded by fellow mid-'90s rocker James, no less. You might remember the song: It has the ooooh-so-risqué line "But she only comes when she's on top"? And your friends just flippin' loooove to sing it when they're drunk? Except they can't ever seem to remember any other lyrics? And it's really just abominable now that all the MILF morning commuters will hear it on Star 98.7 and get drunk during what is supposed to be your happy hour and scream it, too?

My god, life is horrible. Kill yourselves now.

But here's the thing: you can't blame Better Than Ezra. They're just trying to keep on keepin' on and looking to score a buck or two. If you think I'm kidding, then I'll just have to point you toward the top of my CD shelf, where I still have Deluxe because you know what? Better Than Ezra? They weren't bad. In fact, I quite liked them.

And how does this relate to Rogue Wave?

See, Rogue Wave aren't much different than Better Than Ezra: they write pleasant songs with catchy choruses that call to mind a lot of other contemporary bands. Sure, they're far better than Better Than Ezra could ever hope to be, but they also will never change the world—much less sell out a stadium—and that's just fine. The Oakland-based quartet doesn't need to be huge, the guys just need to be able to continue recording great songs (such as the old-time mountain-man folk number "Medicine Ball," the killer "Love's Lost Guarantee"—featuring the made-for-MySpace-headline line "Love comes like a Kennedy curse"—and downright anthemic riff-rocker "Publish My Love") so they'll never have to retire back to sullen day jobs and depressed daydreams, only to return in 2016 with a wicked cover of, I don't know, an OK Go song or something. Please, save yourselves and help the boys keep their dreams alive.

Rogue Wave play with Jason Collet and Foreign Born at Detroit Bar, 843 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 642-0600. Wed., 9 p.m. $10. 21+.

 
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