If the Postal Service has taught us anything, it's that Seattle-based side projects provide fashionable new beginnings, which is a damn good thing since things always seem to come to a tragic end in the world of prolific Pedro the Lion front man David Bazan. The touring version of his latest coalition, Headphones, is actually PTL sans guitars (and still a third variation, the Soft Drugs, with drummer TW Walsh as front man, is in the works). Call his lyrical Christian existentialism "parables" (as more than one critic has cribbed from Pedro's press release) if you must, but know that Bazan brings more death wishes than Charles Bronson did in his whole career. Serving up measures of impending doom ("Just sit back and wait for the attacks, especially in the major cities," and "Maybe a couple of airplanes could crash into buildings," he sings) over arrhythmic Casios instead of six-strings fails to increase the quotient of hope.


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