The Strange Attractors
Sleep and You Will See (Past / Futures)
Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., Aug. 14, 2009
The Strange AttractorsSleep and You Will See (Past/Futures)
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.