April 20, 2005


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The 303s, Lines of Parallel Minds
Cult-Hero Records, 2006

Albeit a woozily danceable hit-length bit of techno madly waving its arms around on the high wire to avoid being mistaken for Avril Lavigne bubble-emo, intro track “Waves & Generations” belongs on some other album, one not gerrymandered almost exclusively for a demographic partial to cheek-to-cheek shoegaze-pop balladry. The schematic for that song (and the spidery, Le Tigre-like “Beyond the Lines”) is checkered with carelessly scribbled Post-It reminders to add "On the Phone" patches to Ingrid Dahl’s voice here and there — strikingly cool chintz no matter who’s doing it — but this is far from a neo-disco product. Dahl’s eminently acceptable voice chameleons straightforwardly between clippy Dolores O’Riordan drone (“Sea of Things”), Lisa Loeb waifishness (“Treaties”) and Aimee Mann train-wreck-trilling (“Red Line”), hence she’s more work-in-progress than unfairly overlooked diva. The songs, however, are wild dreams-come-true for squirrelly art-babes who demand only the most blissful accompaniment for their lonesome ballet flows, proffering ever-gentler waves of mood in the manner of a less technical Weed after an all-nighter with Sonic Boom. B

— Eric W. Saeger

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