Subtlety is rare these days. With the goal of resurrecting complexity and depth in modern pop-rock, Dross combines the emotional energy of grunge, the grooves of acid jazz, the lush eclecticism of 70’s folk, and a distinct brand of passionate, intricate lyricism. The result is a sound that’s difficult to categorize but easy to like, evoking equal parts Pete Yorn, Simon and Garfunkle, Brand New Heavies, and Ani Di Franco. This is music that rewards repeated listening.

Dross’s debut album, The Age of Ignorance, focuses on artistic integrity rather than commercialism. Instead of front-loading the catchiest songs, the album is structured to be enjoyed as a whole. Instead of simplistic, cliché lyrics, it challenges the listener with intricate wordplay, anti-establishment ideology, and difficult truths. Instead of typical commercial loudness, it favors dynamic complexity and long-term listenability. Lyrically, the album has a cohesive central theme: question your assumptions.

Named for the high-school nickname of songwriter Mike Daross, Dross was originally formed solely as a studio project. Daross funded the recording of The Age of Ignorance by trading graphic design and Flash animation services for studio time. The album was released in October 2005 on Daross’s own label, Crooked Grin Records, bringing together over twenty veteran Austin musicians. At the encouragement of a number of musicians involved in the project, Daross began booking shows in the Austin area and has been quickly building a dedicated following ever since.

The Age of Ignorance is available online at and at numerous Austin record stores. Singles include Magnesium, Aggravated Misogyny, The Price of Life, and Lonely Planet.

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