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Dropsonic 

No one is more surprised that Dropsonic has released an album on Dallas Austin's Rowdy Records than the band itself. Insects with Angel Wings may bear the label name of the busy producer/remix king, but other than that, it's not much different than Dropsonic's other abrasively rocking releases. "Being signed to Rowdy was a surprise to us, too," says guitarist/vocalist Dan Dixon.

A couple of years ago, Austin had checked out some of Dropsonic's early material and liked what he heard. "We got a call that Dallas wanted to talk to us. I thought it was hilarious," says Dixon. "It seemed as ridiculous to me as it sounds now. Dallas Austin? He does TLC, right?"

Dixon, bassist Dave Chase and drummer Brian Hunter felt like Austin's contract offer was worth the risk. "We felt like we'd be stupid to pass it up. Our other alternative was to put out another CD, probably sell another 3,000 copies, be on tour with no money and not be on the radio or have any potential for any other larger mediums of promotion. We had to see what would happen -- and he told us that he would let us do whatever record we wanted to do."

With Austin's connections, the David Barbe-produced disc is poised to bring more attention to the band, but whether it'll become a popular favorite is anyone's guess. The disc is a solid collection of Dropsonic's slamming and soaring melodies and intelligent, dark and evocative lyrics, all blanketed by thick layers of guitar, bass and drums. "So much of what you hear on the radio is uplifting in a milquetoast way, but this one isn't," says Dixon. "And look, the Killers are the biggest rock band in the country right now; that's some snappy, toe-tapping music. This is not."

Dropsonic's CD release performance is Fri., Sept. 9, 10 p.m. $8. The Earl, 488 Flat Shoals Road. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. The Life and Times and Hard Lessons open.

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