By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
After undergoing a few name changes (from This Old House to Odyssey and, finally, to Sundress) as well as a few lineup changes, Denton's Sundress have finally released what they consider to be their debut EP, although some may remember the band's 2010 EP, Fever, which Sundress would prefer you disregard. It's not that their last effort was bad — it wasn't, at all — but more because, this time around, the band feels they got it right. And, really, they have.
The new, self-titled EP, recorded at the Echo Lab in the woods on the cusp of Denton, is more psychedelic than its predecessor, boasting apparent, if unintentional, influences ranging from The Stone Roses to My Bloody Valentine to Radiohead. Frontman Ryan McAdams croons a haze of humid vocals atop a psychedelic soundscape that weaves effortlessly throughout the six-song EP.
Each track is dense with layers of instruments, and the euphonious peak of the album falls smack-dab in the middle. Track three, "Derelict," is irrefutably the sweet spot; lyrics drone over melodic guitar, drums and a fluttering organ, combining for an intoxicating brew. Other tracks, such as "Page Of Wands" and "Thirteen," are more intense and almost improvisational sounding, laden with twisting guitars and meandering vocals, but with the same welcome psychedelic vibe that's interlaced throughout the album.
It's a proper introduction to Sundress, to be sure.