Two long-time friends and musicians from Amsterdam, Leo Koperdraat (Voice, Guitars, Keyboards and Lyrics) and Ed van Haagen (Bass, Keyboards and Programming), along with US drummer Frank L. Urbaniak (Drums, Percussion and Lyrics), have released their debut CD Strange Attractions. Song-oriented and heavily colored by the great sounds of the Mellotron, Strange Attractions is on the slower-side of rock.
"The Fading Ghosts of Yesterday" is a slow track with many layers of keyboards and synths. It has an epic feel and would sound great in a big venue; I can imagine an epic light show to accompany it. One of the best on the CD.
"A Life of Darkness: Endings" is a short instrumental which opens with Mellotron strings then gives way to an electronic beat and minor piano melodies. It has a melalcholy feel and I think it acts as a nice prelude to the rather somber "Insects." A song about growing up in a less-than-perfect situation, it certainly is an emotional tune. A nice energetic rock edge opens "Raising the Stakes." The combination of electric and acoustic guitar chords during the opening and chorus brings out the interesting chord progression. The bass playing on this song stands out nicely.
The layered keyboards are thick on the instrumental "Various Methods of Hunting." A menacing synth solo swaps between peaceful acoustic and Mellotron flute lines. This is another great track.
The baritone vocals of Leo Koperdraat remind me of 80s new wave; his style is not over-powering and must be influenced by Modern English's Robbie Grey. Song structres are very straight-forward and have a retro sound to them, benefiting from the keyboards. For someone who was into the 4AD label this a new throwback to post-punk days. The website for Fractal Mirror indicates an evolving direction of new music and something more daring and non-traditional would be nice to hear next.
1. What's Inside 4:23
2. The Fading Ghosts of Yesterday 4:30
3. Brian's Song 5:39
4. Fade Away 4:47
5. A Life of Darkness: Endings 2:53
6. Insects 3:28
7. Raising the Stakes 4:20
8. Various Methods of Hunting 3:43
9. Leave Me 3:07
10. The Chair 4:18