An indie-pop record dressed in electronic beats and tweaks, the debut album from the Burnside Project is a hybrid throwback to mid-'90s aesthetics, fusing lo-fi rock with ambient dance music best list

An indie-pop record dressed in electronic beats and tweaks, the debut album from the Burnside Project is a hybrid throwback to mid-'90s aesthetics, fusing lo-fi rock with ambient dance music best listened to on headphones. While other bands have mined the concept of beat-fueled indie-rock—Yo La Tengo and Ida, for starters—such efforts have generally been more rock than electronica driven. By contrast, The Networks, the Circuits, the Streams, the Harmonies has the feel of an IDM record. Burnside multi-instrumentalists Richard Jankovich and Gerald Hammill offset this computer noodling with a strong pop sensibility and winning contributors. Mendoza Line's Shannon McArdle provides guest vocals on five songs, and bandmate Pete Hoffman's guitar work is featured on the track "Assessing Your Performance." Author Rick Moody, writing under the pen-name Tyrone Duffy, provides the liner notes. Listeners may suspect they've heard this all before, but the album has an endearing vintage feel and a charmingly chill vibe that generally compensates for the sense of familiarity that pervades the disc.—BG