Guidance Counselor: Guidance Counselor 

In comedy, the real money will always be in dick jokes. Music isn't much different. Though artistic vision and emotional intelligence are fine and dandy, none of that matters if you can't make kids dance. Guidance Counselor can.

Their self-titled debut (Oldwave Records) is 11 tracks of hard-edged atmospherically dark pop set to a kicking beat.

With synth bass beneath brash gleaming guitars and ungated drums producing big-room sound, it's easy to compare GC to Joy Division, Bauhaus or The Faint. But GC's production has a rawer feel--closer to the sound of The Rapture--though fuller and catchier. Rather than focusing on straight riffs, much of the instrumentation is geared toward atmosphere, so the riffs and lines cut clearly through.

Part of the dance appeal is the choice to bury the vocals in effects. It's as if the voice is used as a melodic hook. The conscious mind doesn't get caught up in processing the words, further allowing the subconscious to succumb to the beat.

Contributing equally to their danceability is GC's energy. The album cuts hit as hard as the first night of a tour. However, the mix also makes it so none of the songs are what might be considered "singles," despite sticking with you for the rest of the day. Track six, "Creature," is a fantastically catchy song with a mid-tempo swing that you could hum for days. But good luck deciphering the lyrics.

If you want an album to speak to your inner torment, keep walking. But if you want to get your ass on the dance floor and get over yourself, GC is the right choice.

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