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Rogue Wave, ‘Asleep at Heaven’s Gate’ (Brushfire)

After crafting two gorgeously understated Sub Pop albums that languished, this Oakland quartet teams with Yo La Tengo producer Roger Moutenot to create a make-or-break manifesto (on Jack Johnson’s label!) that often trumps indie rock’s big-leaguers. Intensifying the light and shade of his tunes with finely detailed psychedelia, leader Zach Rogue picks up the alternative pop gauntlet R.E.M. threw away. And when he trades previously indistinct sadness for rage against the biz, he grabs its gold ring even as he’s cursing the merry-go-round he’s on.

Now Hear This: Rogue Wave – “Lake Michigan” DOWNLOAD MP3

Now Watch This: Rogue Wave – “Lake Michigan” QUICKTIME | WINDOWS MEDIA

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