When Sub Pop released Rogue Wave's debut album, Out Of The Shadows, last year, the band was for all intents and purposes, not a band at all. Instead, Rogue Wave was primarily the solo effort of one Zach Rogue, an insanely talented musician and adept singer/songwriter. However since that time, Rogue Wave has transformed itself into a full fledged band, adding the road-savvy likes of Pat Spurgeon, Gram LeBron and Evan Farrell. Descended Like Vultures, Rogue Wave's sophomore album, was recorded as such and it's instantly noticeable. Spurgeon, LeBron and Farrell are like skilled tradesman who use their knowledge of various instruments to carve out the beautiful moulding around Rogue's mansion of song. Descended Like Vultures has moments of bombastic brilliance that overwhelm the listener with a literal wall of sound, but at the same time, contains the moments of soft, quiet intimacy that made Out Of The Shadows so special. Album opener, "Bird On A Wire", is one of the more band-oriented tracks and is filled with layer upon layer of ambient sound, including short, angular guitar riffs, nonsensical backwards vocals, swirly cymbal crashes and a bunch of other well-hidden experimental noises. "Salesman On The Day Of The Parade", on the other hand, is one of the acoustic-leaning singer/songwriter efforts, but though there is only minimal support from the rest of the band, Rogue's thoughtful lyrics and sweet, caring voice make this one of the most precious tracks on the record. "10:1", the first single, is an upbeat rocker. Rogue's voice is filtered through a thin layer of distortion, while the keyboard, bass and drums all pound away at ludicrous speed, all culminating in a musical noise freak out that would be perfectly at home on the Flaming Lips' Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots or Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. For as much as I loved Rogue Wave's debut, with Descended Like Vultures, the old saying, "two heads are better than one," rings true... except there's four heads... but you get the picture.