Sep 162009
Authors: Ian Mahan

When the Denver music scene seems ridden with bands that are pop focused, clearly some bands are being overlooked in the scene.

If that’s the case, Web browsers should be searching for The Rouge, who seems to be giving the Denver scene the rock it is missing.

The band, which formed in 2008, has already made progress by playing venues such as Red Rocks Amphitheater and releasing a five song EP that should launch them nearly to Kings of Leon status.

“The Heat & Light EP” is a collection of songs telling stories. And whether or not the stories are specific to singer Joshua Vaught, they are easily identifiable to any listener.

Vaught’s vocals are earnest yet haunting throughout the entire record. Despite lines like, “We could be the next big thing,” on the album’s title track, “Heat & Light,” The Rouge isn’t being conceited.

The next track, “Molly,” is reminiscent of The Killers with enough drive to make you want to speed down the highway with windows down and speakers way up.

An overlookable track, “Six Shooter” starts with an almost awkward keyboard build that doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the band’s sound. The song does progress into something a little more dance-like and might detract from the straight up rock-and-roll sound listeners might expect from The Rouge.

The band’s true genius shows in the song “Breakdown,” in which guitarist Adam Call showcases not only a mastery of his instrument, but also a mastery of effects with his instrument. The song is a classic dive bar jam with grungy guitars and a searing riff that carries throughout the entire song comparable to the genius of the Foo Fighters.

The final track, “Timebomb,” is another that could have been replaced, but is a good conclusion to the album. However, it doesn’t quite live up to the songs that precede it.

Overall, for a band that has been together just more than a year, it seems like they have been together for almost a decade. The Rouge has the make up to become much more than just a local band. They have the talent and the sound to make their fans see red and want even more of this already successful Denver band.

Music reviewer Ian Mahan can be reached at

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