For those of us of a certain age who remember when school dances had a strict four-fast-songs-then-one-slow-one policy, the memory of bouncing around to "Let's Hear It for the Boy" with the anticipation of "One More Night" or "Take My Breath Away" still makes our palms sweat with hormonal anxiety. So does House of Baasa, the debut long-player from sisters Jessica and Cristi Jo Zambri, who find a fine balance between Newcleus-eque street jams and drama-laden slow-ballers. They begin hazy and disorientating and confusing, as "All You Maybes" swells with distortion and delay and rhythmic misdirection, only to come correct with the snappy sass of "ICBYS," a jagged slice of synth-funk that finds the sisters' voices doing the electric slide across the floor of your cranium. It's all prelude, though, a few moments to figure out whose hand you want cradling the small of your neck during the aching five-and-a-half minutes of "Hundred Hearts." That track hits, time stops, sheering sounds scrape across the spartan beat, and a fluttering urgency makes minutes seem like weeks, in the best sense. The rest of the album follows suit, alternating spring-heeled pop jams with gauzy marauders that coo and cajole and sigh with tricky percussion and warped sonics. By the second side, it's easy to get lost in the haze; in a labyrinth, one is supposed to keep a hand on the wall and always turn right, but what if you never want to escape? If at times the album works as dancefloor aerobic-pop, its true utility is in providing the soundtrack for two people to get lost in the vortex dance of each other's eternal-seeming embrace.
ZAMBRI + HOORAY FOR EARTH + JOSEPH D'AGOSTINO + DJ DIE YOUNG | Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston | May 19 @ 9 pm | 21+ | $12 adv./$15 doors | 617.566.9014