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Sundress – Sundress EP

on July 26, 2011, 7:58am
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Making a name for yourself when you have been through three different band names following bouts of legal trouble is not exactly the easiest of tasks. Fortunately, Denton, TX’s Sundress (formerly known as This Old House and, after that, Odyssey) have finally settled on a name and a sound. The result? A six-track EP of indulgent, psychedelic pop that’s as dreamy and infectious as their well-established hometown live show.

“Middle of Here” kicks things off with an expected rush of swirling, layered melodies and entrancing grooves. Although nothing surprising, Sundress play a tight, clean homage to the best of 60’s psychedelia. “Bloom” continues in this fashion, offering an invitation to the audience to sing along to vocalist Ryan McAdams’ sustained yells of “bloom, bloom.” On the whole, Sundress is a collection of songs that on a passive listen induces mesmerizing swaying and on a deeper listen reveals layer upon layer of lush sounds to focus upon. The unsung heroes behind the technicolor guitar noise and indiscernible wails of McAdams prove to be the rhythm section, as the intricate, pulsating percussion and grooving bass ground what would otherwise be lost, incoherent music–particularly notable on spacey single “Derelict”.

At one of the EP’s finest points, “Page of Wands”, Sundress temporarily leaves behind their lethargy for a danceable cacophony of warbled guitars and grooving bass. McAdams also ups the ante with a previously unseen vocal versatility, leaving behind the mass of reverb that characterized the band’s sound up to this point. It’s a refreshing break from the sun-drenched, innocuous feel of the EP’s other songs–a demonstration of talent beyond the haze and of promise for the future. Then again, when an EP’s worst song is still rich and hypnotic, there’s little to worry about.

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