I discovered Catform’s ‘Rogue Wave’ through the same channels that I re-discovered The Mountain Goats’ ‘Lovecraft In Brooklyn’ back in the day; through someone else’s old romantic mixtape.
However, I enjoyed this song enough to go looking for more of Rogue Wave’s stuff, and to this day, I’m not sure whether Google failed me or if I was just having a case of the stupids, but I managed to find absolutely nothing on the band. “Oh, must be a new, independent group,” I thought. Years later, I heard of the group announcing a US tour, and I figured they must have finally been making a name for themselves. No, I had somehow completely missed them altogether, since ‘Catform’ was from their second studio album. When I looked the group up back in the day, they had released four.
Of course, I brushed this off at the time and just enjoyed the track. However, there was something enigmatic and alluring about it that kept drawing me back. I had no idea what it was, but the song was made up of so many different moving parts that it was impossible to pick out which element it was. The strange rhythmic way of singing, the cryptic lyrics which seem to invoke feelings of discontent from within the middle class, and the clearly pained lyrics of frontman Zach Rogue. (Which, as a side note, is even less inconspicuous of a superhero name than ‘Clark Kent’ is.) This song kept me hooked as I kept replaying it, trying to understand what the hell was being said. As it turns out, yes, he does actually sing the words “princes with the dollar eyes, morning fries and light-up TV, and advances in the sweater vest. Picking homes, picking out cheese.”
While I’m now much more acquainted with Rogue Wave, and now that their music is still much less of a mystery than it was to me back then as I listened to it on a train ride to Adelaide, I still find myself listening to ‘Catform’ frequently, namely as I try to definitively decipher the lyrics.