There's a subtle but important difference between music you can dance to and music that makes you want to dance, and Texas indie electronic demons the Octopus Project thankfully understand the distinction. Their third album, Hello, Avalanche, is full to bursting with the friendly beeps and blurps of vintage analog synthesizers and the clatter of drum machines, but while nearly everyone knows how to make a beat these days, the Octopus Project can generate a pulse that has the feel of flesh and blood, and there's a playful sense of joy in their music that's a pleasure to move to. While synthesizers dominate Hello, Avalanche, seemingly any instrument is fair game for the Octopus Project; "Ghost Moves" throws a wall of thrashed-out guitar and clattering drums up against a speedy sequencer pattern, "Snow Tip Cap Mountain" is a curious but delightful duet for marimba and theremin, "Truck"'s organ and guitar combo could pass for a great lost new wave single, and there's a winning charm in the sweetly murmured vocals of the closing track, "Queen." And even when Toto Miranda, Yvonne Lambert, and Josh Lambert are indulging their passion for electronics, they never forget to throw a hooky tune in with the beats, and a big part of what makes the grooves so engaging on this album is the fact there are actual songs to go with them. In short, Hello, Avalanche doesn't sound like something to play at a party so much as a party the Octopus Project threw for themselves, and they were nice enough to invite us all along -- it would be rude not to come along, not to mention passing up a really good time.