November 26, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

On A Sectioned Beam, the EP follow-up to last spring’s The Incomplete Triangle, Lansing-Dreiden check their overbaked art-school pretensions at the recording-studio door and deliver a heady mix built around ambitious Pet Sounds-style orchestrations. ”Spectrum of Vapor” revels in delicate chamber-pop melodies, while ”A Sectioned Beam” is a bouncy dose of new wave. One false note: bonus cut ”The First Response,” when leaden percussion and twee faux British vocals take over.

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