The Strange Attractors
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The Strange Attractors

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The Strange Attractors are to the Black Angels what the Golden Dawn once was to the 13th Floor Elevators, psychedelic Texas contemporaries overshadowed by the latter's success. Both locals have distilled their forefathers' trips into similar touchstones – 1960s acid grooves, political menace, and Joy Division nihilism – but the Attractors' sophomore showing is a stand-alone triumph. Impeccably mastered to hazy orange vinyl, Sleep and You Will See dreams in blood red, thickening the Gotham reverb of the locals' eponymous 2007 debut. Opening instrumental "Baptismal Vessel" introduces the addition of a keyboard, the sci-fi of which winds through a series of night terrors ("The Beast ... Most Evil") and incubus attacks ("Surge Frequency"). Dual guitarists/vocalists Kevin Pearce and Jeremy Diaz once again weave a hypnotic, inextricable web, most notably in the Western noir "Deja Vu," in which they echo each other's sentiments: "How should I feel about a second chance?/Do I want to take it on and roll the dice again?" The prevailing sense of chaos and confusion ensures there's no easy answer. From the bohemian psychedelia of "Between the Lines" and "Headfull of Devils" to the cosmic country bent of "End Game" and Velvet Underground-like dirge "Skincrawl," Sleep and You Will See achieves a dark, strange cycle of rapid eye movements. The closing ballad, "Psychosomatic Reasons," slows things down a bit, like that last flutter of unconsciousness before waking, as though trying to lull the listener back to slumberland. Resistance is futile. - Austin Powell - The Austin Chonicle


SLEEP AND YOU WILL SEE – The Strange Attractors (Past/Futures Records)
Coed, multiracial Austin-based quintet The Strange Attractors are really the reincarnation of Dead Sexy, whose Detroit-infused take on glammy punk germinated in sleepy Fort Worth around the dawn of the millennium. That band fizzled out after the departure of bassist and primary onstage visual vector Jen Tran, but they regrouped in 2006 in the more conducive environs of America’s Live Music Capital ®. “It’s really the same band,” said guitarist-synthesist-singer Kevin Pearce, “with a different drummer and one more girl” (that’d be Penny Gonzalez on synth). “The way the songs are written is even the same.” Their self-titled debut disc was a morass of murky garage-psych that I dug real much, but this sophomore outing, released on “haze colored” vinyl and high definition MP3 (demonstrating, I think, a pretty astute understanding of the way folks consume music nowadays), represents a quantum leap on the recording front.

My band recently shared a Fort Worth date with the Attractors as they began a whirlwind assault on the Midwest and East Coast. Live, their sound is a lot more straightforward, without the ocean of reverb and F/X they use to cloak it on record. Pearce and his longtime partner in crime Jeremy Diaz split the guitar and vocal duties, with Diaz the most animated band member onstage. While Jen Tran has toned down her stage trip a bit since Dead Sexy daze, she’s still a strong and striking presence, and drummer Eric McFrazier’s a propulsive power puncher who never lets his impulses get in the way of the song. The Attractors play solid riffs and hammer them home with the abandon of true believers. Medium tempos predominate – this band’s natch’l pulse falls midway between the gallop of punk and the crawl of stoner sludge. Diaz’s Ashetonesque fuzz-wah rides are the icing on the cake.

Sleep and You Will See is an ethereal, head-spinning experience. Interspersed between the songs are four tracks of Krautrock-inspahrd atmospheric drone and noise. (Sample titles: “Bong of Cthulu” and “The Beast Most Evil”; you get the idea.) Pierce takes six songwriting credits, Diaz three. An inspection of the lyric sheet -- available only with the digital version, but the vinyl LP comes with a download card – reveals the writers’ respective concerns with matters existential and introspective, but if you’re like me, you’ll appreciate this record most as a pure sonic bath.

Of Pearce’s offerings, “Between the Lines” is a mutant garage pounder with lysergic guitar licks that recall San Fran legend John Cippolina, while his “Déjà Vu” overlays acrid slide guitar over a tribal beat borrowed from the Hoodoo Gurus’ “Leilani.” “Endgame” is a waltz for a bulldozer, interspersed with scorching solos. The Diaz-penned title track is a lumbering arena-rock behemoth, while his “Headfull of Devils” and “Skincrawl” feature the Attractors at their most Jesus and Mary Chain shoegazy.

With this album, the Strange Attractors approach the exalted level of modern day psychsters like Boris and Dungen (with whom they’ll share an Austin bill later this summer), and support Thurston Moore’s assertion that “the best pure bands” are in Texas. Cop via pastfuturesrecords.com. - Ken Shimamoto - Ken Shimamoto - I94bar.com


Discography

S/T Full Length --Rare Dust Records
split 7" w/ Koreans --Rare Dust Records
"Sleep And You Will See" --Past/Futures Records

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Bio

The Strange Attractors' Sleep and You Will See is the second album by the Austin based band. The album delivers on the promise of their first, selftitled release with a set of exploratory yet smartly crafted modern psychedelic pop songs.

We're reminded what might have happened if Spacemen 3 had been weaned on loud Texas garage rock. Songwriters Kevin Pearce and Jeremy Diaz played in various bands around Texas (including Diaz' time in the Riverboat Gamblers) until landing in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, where they started Dead Sexy with bass player Jen Tran.

After Dead Sexy ended in 2003, Pearce joined The Sunday Drunks (Deadbeat Records). He then moved to Austin in 2005 with a new project The HotRails (Super Secret Records). Diaz also moved to Austin with This Damn Town (Chicken Ranch, Solid Sexy Lovie Doll, Sonico Records). The two met up with Jen Tran again in 2006 to form The Strange Attractors.

The group recorded its debut The Strange Attractors (Rare Dust Records) in the summer of 2006 with the help of Trey Robles (Hard Feelings, The HotRails) on drums. With the sudden departure of their first drummer, they'd been left with studio time and little rehearsal time. This led to a few of the songs being written impromptu in the studio with Baldomero Valdez of Faceless Werewolves (Super Secret) filling in on drums. In the fall of 2008, The Strange Attractors recorded their followup album, Sleep And You Will See. With the addition of Eric McFrazier on drums and Penny Gonzales on keyboards, a spark of new life and energy entered the band. This time around, with Kevin Lee of The Koreans (Rare Dust) taking on production and engineering duties, the band had more time for experimentation and used this time to flesh out the songs with a spectrum of tones and layers the debut had only begun to explore. Guitars and keyboards weave around each other, dreamily intent, on the foundation of their rock solid rhythm section. Undeniably hookfilled songs are the glue that keep the whole thing together.