[SPACE DISCO] Even more so on In Absentia than on its previous releases, Pegasus Dream achieves a sunny, seamless concatenation of melodies similar to that perfected by Starfucker and attempted to lesser degrees by a great many would-be party starters. Key to the band's Möbius strip of chirpy synthesizer and guitar work is an excess of time spent tinkering, massaging and reworking—a sluggish process of maturation has at last allowed Pegasus Dream to make it seem easy.
Now in its fifth year, the Portland-by-way-of-Spokane trio has had ample opportunity to sand the edges from its dense blend of dance psychedelia. In Absentia comes after a yearlong silence from the trio, and the EP's roomy production makes it appear the group has made good use of its time.
"Spring Break" builds its chorus by feeding a crystalline melodic lead through a series of engrossing mutations; "Righteous Tiger" places a flinching guitar figure in juxtaposition to a similarly obtuse synthesizer line and lets the two push each other through the song's runtime.
As on previous Pegasus Dream releases, frontman J.T. Lindsey's lilting, "wimp's tenor" dictates the EP's essential aesthetic. Lindsey's rhymes flirt with schmaltz though never quite make the plunge. On "Oxen Free"—the title itself tests the appropriate uses of coy—Lindsey sings, "Do you long to be somewhere far away from me?" before breaking the cliché with the second half of the couplet: "Or far away from you?"
Both the emotional and sonic components of In Absentia threaten to overindulge in these broad Technicolor tendencies, but Pegasus Dream's pitch perfection ensures the whole business goes off without a hitch.
SEE IT: Pegasus Dream plays Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., on Friday, July 13. 9 pm. $5. 21+.