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Rogue Wave

Descended Like Vultures (Sub Pop)

Built to Spill once told us to Keep It Like a Secret, but indie rock is hardly a mystery anymore. And thanks to the unprecedented success of acts such as Modest Mouse and Death Cab for Cutie, great bands like Rogue Wave may get the attention they deserve. The Bay Area quartet's second Sub Pop offering is a touching, jangly collection of well-crafted emotional pop cuts, like a less-sunny version of songs from the label's current heavyweights, the Shins. Opener "Bird on a Wire" is a catchy, shuffling track that moves between sweet and deranged, while "Salesman at the Day of the Parade" is a weary, apologetic song built on gentle acoustic strums and lyrical heartbreak ("I'm so sorry for what I've done," frontman Zach Rogue laments). Not all of the tracks are downers: The rollicking and lively "10:1" sounds as if it's in a hurry behind swift riffs and urgent, raw drumming. But more often than not, Descended Like Vultures shifts into a mellower gear. This secret won't be kept for long, either.

 
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