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Lansing-Dreiden 

The Dividing Island

Wednesday, Jun 21 2006
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Secret society Skull and Bones has nothing on Lansing-Dreiden: The latter, a highly enigmatic New York-based multimedia "company" was founded in 2000 and is responsible for music, video, art gallery installations, and a literary magazine. It's known to have three principals and a handful of close associates, all of whom refuse to divulge their names, have their photos taken, do interviews, or even perform live (they hire proxy musicians to tour on their behalf). For all anyone knows, the organization's braintrust could be Henry Kissinger, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Derek Jeter. Based on the debonair, seductive synth-pop that dominates L-D's second full-length album, though, one might surmise the triumvirate is actually Bryan Ferry, Martin Fry, and Nick Rhodes, augmented by members of Spandau Ballet, OMD, and Tears for Fears. Sure, you might say that all the secrecy is simply a means to dress up yet more retro New Wave/New Romantic infatuation, but that aside, Lansing-Dreiden pulls off the homage quite invitingly. It also isn't afraid to deviate from the prevailing fey vocals, pastel keyboards, and electronic drum pads — thus the speed-metal guitar that chokeholds "Dethroning the Optimyth," or the garage-rock exuberance that explodes in the middle of the hitherto ethereal title track, fittingly reminiscent of ? and the Mysterians.

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Michael Alan Goldberg

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