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Division of Laura Lee
DAS NOT COMPUTE
(Burning Heart)

After kicking around their native Sweden for several years, Division of Laura Lee swept into the US on the surge of the Scandinavian Invasion of the past few years with their first proper full-length, 2002ís Black City (Burning Heart). That album bursts with taut, dark, beautiful rockers in the vein of Swedish psychedelic-pop purveyors the Soundtrack of Our Lives, but sprinkled with a post-punk sleaze more in keeping with fellow Swedes Ikara Colt.

On their latest, Division of Laura Lee again build their songs around a rough, fiery core and then dress them up in modern-rock sophistication. The results lack some of the controlled fury of their previous recordings, but the new disc still exudes sultry menace. Album opener "Does Compute" boasts a catchy vocal harmony that spikes into Per Stålbergís frantic shouts as he mingles muddy guitar riffs and scrawling solos with guitarist David Fransson over Jonas Gustavssonís throbbing bass and drummer Håkan Johanssonís edgy dance-rock beat. They rekindle their former intensity on "Endless Factories," with its driving beat and tight, scratchy guitar, and "All Streets End" has the bright cheek of í50s pop filtered through punk grit. But they can also grow hushed and lovely, as on the harmony-drenched love song "Breathe Breathe."

BY SARAH TOMLINSON


Issue Date: July 9 - 15, 2004
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