Of all the New York-based bands, the art-rock collective Lansing-Dreiden are certainly amongst the most different. Emphasising the art often more than the rock, they could also be the most pretentious but an excellent first album (2003's 'The Incomplete Triangle') proved that it is possible to make a great garage rock/electro-pop album.
'The Dividing Island' uses the same kind of enigmatic lyrical matter but this time (despite efforts to "rock out" on the storming outro of the title track) the music is more synth-orientated and even close to sophomore in its approach. Those heavily echoed vocals haunt many of these tracks but they also reveal a lush, almost romantic side with 'One For All' (even featuring possibly ironic "woah yeah" vocals) and the lovely lilting chorus to 'Two Extremes'. Only on bombastic finale 'Dethroning The Optimyth' do they stand guilty of pretension over musical value.
Otherwise, it's a successful balancing act between maintaining the mystique whilst still being able to deliver quality material.