For Ideal Lives
's full-length debut on French Kiss Records, the band drops the Gang of Four mimicry and veers toward something closer to a kinder, gentler Fugazi. Guitarist Michael Friedrich and bassist Ryan McCoy trade lyrics like Ian MacKaye and Guy Picciotto used to do, though with Rahim the singers aren't in conversation with each other; the myriad thoughts and exclamations in their songs seem to warrant two concurrent voices. The band's DC cred is helped with the return of former Jawbox frontman J. Robbins in the production seat, though the spare, single-note guitar lines come through the speakers unadorned and underproduced (on purpose, we're guessing). The Octopus Project
, with their shoegaze guitars and processed beats, open.