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The Sam Roberts Band

Who: The Molson-slinging members of the Sam Roberts band — featuring Roberts (vocals, guitar) Josh Trager (drums), Eric Fares (guitar, keys), James Hall (bass), Dave Nugent (guitar, backing vocals) — prepare their palates for Bud as they give American audiences a taste of their wistful, nouveau-psychedelic sound with their sophomore album, Chemical City.

What’s the Deal: The band didn’t just leave their roots-rocking sound, shout-along songs behind on this album, they also bid an unsentimental farewell to their U.S. record company, Lost Highway, releasing the expansive, oft-trippy Chemical City on their own label, Secret Brain.

Fun Facts: Down Under, the band rented an old Presbyterian church in a rural town near surf mecca Byron Bay (on Australia’s eastern seaboard). There, they lived, eat, fought, worked, and wrote music for three months, only taking short breaks for surfing trips.

Now Hear This: “The Gate” (MP3)

Now Watch This: “The Gate” (Windows Media, high) | (Windows Media, low)

Talk: Should we stamp Sam Roberts’ passport or leave him waiting at the border? COMMENT

On the Web: Sam Roberts official site