303s Lines of Parallel Minds

Right out of the gate, the 303s’ debut album sounds like another attempt to flog the electroclash scene, with its shout-y monotone vocals and speedy synth lines. But then along comes "Sea of Things,” a lovely pop song that sounds more like Ivy than Peaches. Clearly this girl/guy duo of Ingrid Dahl and Parixit Dave can’t make up their mind about what kind of band they want to be, since the album bounces sharply between melancholic, guitar-based dream pop and harsh electro pop. This makes it difficult to enjoy the album as a whole, but when listened to in isolation, there are some great tracks here. They know how to layer the electronics in a unique way that isn’t contrived, and the melodies carried by Dahl’s voice are quite nice indeed. It helps that they can write a nice pop song, and at the end of the day the abrasive electro seems a bit out of place. Mind you, this variety does keep them from falling completely into the ethereal/shoegazer void. This is definitely a promising debut, and it will be interesting to see which musical path they choose from here onwards. (OD Incorporated)