By at 11:05 AM Monday, May 11th 2009

 

Dredg Arrives At Its Destination

Dredg, Reviews

 

I first came across Dredg several years ago, in between Leitmotif and El Cielo. They were an art-rock band that definitely stood out among its contemporaries. When they were good, they were great. And they were amazing live. But after three full-length albums, they had yet to make one that was truly, 100% consistently good straight through. The only reason I would point that out and hold them to such a high standard is because they were undeniably capable. And they have finally proved it with The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion.

Dredg

I heard the first two singles from the album well in advance; Saviour, and I Don’t Know. The first was better than anything that had come before, and then the second was even better than that:

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My hopes were high, but all past Dredg albums had been preceded by their strongest tracks as singles, and only time would tell if the album would be just brilliant, or truly amazing.

The album opens with Pariah, a single-worthy track every bit as good as the two I just mentioned. Mark Engles’ verse guitar riff is hooky and thundering, yet it’s not overused; Each layer of the song has its own space to breathe in. Dino Campanella’s drum work is full of tricky little trap doors and fills. Piano and child vocals support Gavin Hayes’ paced delivery, before the band takes flight into an anthemic chorus, which eventually leads into a rabid, screaming bridge, with a vocal assault Hayes hasn’t unleashed since the band’s early Orph EP.

Ten of the album’s tracks- all that are easily considered “proper” songs and separated from the usual interludes and jam sessions- are fantastic.

In addition to the two previously mentioned singles, a third- Information- was released overseas. We’re thrilled to point out that the video was filmed at Enjoy Human studios, Antiquiet’s video crew’s home base, and the location of all Antiquiet-sponsored events to date.

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Even with the three singles on the table, the album holds great cards in its sleeve. Light Switch, for example. It opens with a swaggering, bluesy rock riff, which gives way to a brief lullaby tease before booming drums come in- a dynamic rock and roll song, and currently my personal favorite from the album. For another example- despite the brooding title and lyrics- Mouring This Morning is upbeat, even danceable.

Dredg albums have always been littered with instrumental deviations, and this newest album is no exception. But out of eighteen tracks, only four are the expected sort of experimenty detours, and one of those- penultimate track Down To The Cellar- is very listenable to say the least. Another four, the brief Stamp Of Origin tracks, land somewhere between indulgence and proper song. But most importantly, just about every single track in between marks among their best.

I feel like we’ve already got several formidable candidates for the best album of 2009, but Dredg has definitely delivered one more. The band has truly come into their own, and are poised to be one of the best bands of the upcoming decade.

Dredg's Pariah, Parrot, Delusion Cover

The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion
June 9th, 2009
Ohlone Recordings / Independent Label Group

01. Pariah
02. Drunk Slide
03. Ireland
04. Stamp Of Origin: Pessimistic
05. Light Switch
06. Gathering Pebbles
07. Information
08. Stamp Of Origin: Ocean Meets Bay
09. Saviour
10. RUOK?
11. I Don’t Know
12. Mourning This Morning
13. Stamp Of Origin: Take A Look Around
14. Long Days And Vague Clues
15. Cartoon Show Room
16. Quotes
17. Down To The Cellar
18. Stamp Of Origin: Horizon

 
 

Dredg

The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion

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Released: 9/06/2009
Label: Dredg
1. Pariah
2. Drunk Slide
3. Ireland
4. Stamp Of Origin: Pessimistic
5. Lightswitch
6. Gathering Pebbles
7. Information
8. Stamp Of Origin: Ocean Meets Bay
9. Saviour
10. R U O K ?
11. I Don't Know
12. Mourning This Morning
13. Stamp Of Origin: Take A Look Around
14. Long Days And Vague Clues
15. Cartoon Showroom
16. Quotes
17. Down To The Cellar
18. Stamp Of Origin: Horizon
 

Meanwhile, On The Internet...

 
28 comments
  1. Tina Marie says:

    This site is great. Thanks for consistently bringing me new GOOD music. Rock on…

  2. sans seraph says:

    We agree completely

  3. zoopster says:

    great vocals, but I’m still not feelin it…..

  4. Skwerl says:

    have you heard the other single? just blipped it for you:
    http://blip.fm/profile/Antiquiet/blip/10200457
    try the album though, there’s a ton of great songs…
    to each their own, but it’s so solid.

  5. Joseph Rose says:

    This really is an amazing album. I looove the sound they got on this, especially the drums.

  6. jpbertra says:

    it really grows on you. really good.

  7. stu says:

    woah, that is a good groove for a prog-ish band. might have to check this one out

  8. Mike says:

    I’m still waiting for a proper leak, but the two trakcs I’ve heard are both great, great band and glad that did the video at Enjoy Human

  9. Ben says:

    This band was at its peak with El Cielo. Everything after it sounds samey and generic/poppy. This band stagnates with every release.

  10. Adam says:

    Skwerl, I love the site, but I have to say, I take issue with the statement “after three full-length albums, they had yet to make one that was truly, 100% consistently good straight through”

    I think you need to listen to el cielo again. just sayin’ :)

  11. Skwerl says:

    i love el cielo. great album for sure. but i do find myself skipping tracks. as i do with leitmotif and catch without arms. this one, i can listen to straight through, and want to start over again. most bands can’t hope to ever achieve anything as good as el cielo, so i don’t mean to be too critical of it.

  12. zoopster says:

    ok, that one i liked! I will give them another try. Thanks for the Blip.

  13. Porkspam says:

    el cielo was the one about sleep depravation right? kinda hard for a band a hit a home run on it’s first big go with such an odd theme for an album but dredg made it work.

  14. Rarehero says:

    Took a few listens, but the album grew extremly on me. I’m with skwerl here: I’m listening straight through the album and start again without noticing, that I’m already at the sixth or seventh listen. Anyhow I wouldn’t say that “The Pariah ..” beats “El Cielo”. “El Cielo” was masterpiece, an album for the eternity that still grows on me after so many years. “The Pariah …” is just another excellent release of Dredg and this means, that “The Pariah …” will be one of the bettermost releases this year.

  15. Orsino says:

    Dredg are by far the most under appreciated band out right now. I hope this album sends them over the hump, yet I feel their complexity is their own worst enemy.

  16. Dan says:

    What complexity?

  17. Rarehero says:

    The current and the last release aren’t complex compared with their first two releases but neat and catchy most the time. Well, compared mainstream rock bands they are still quite ambitious. I hope, that they’ll take their time for their next release like they did with El Cielo. As far as I know they’ve been working five years (in legs) on El Cielo so we cannot expect that every of their releases will reach the brilliance of El Cielo.

  18. Dillinger822 says:

    This record is so much more than i expected it to be. each time i listen to the album, or band for that matter, i wonder why they are so unheard of. There are so many layers of music on this album that it took me a few good listens to pick up on them. Ive have never done this before, but i actually deleted the leaked copy off of my computer and will wait to buy it June 12th, because its that special. Kudos to one of the biggest and best kept secrets- dredg.

  19. Michael says:

    i totally agree. this album is a completely new sound for dredg, and that’s what this band is all about; new direction. The new album has such a unique sound that will take weeks for me to understand but I’m already greatly apreciating there continual progression. Though, I have not listed to it thouroughly I believe Dredg is a band that will always have something more to offer to their listeners, album by album.

  20. roman says:

    Great review, just one thing.
    The fast part screaming bridge on Pariah is actually song by Ben Henderson, singer of a band that toured with dredg called Good Hustle.
    Gavin might also sing on that part, but it’s mostly Ben.
    http://www.myspace.com/thegoodhustle

  21. Skwerl says:

    oh wow… didn’t know that. thanks!

  22. Lee says:

    To say this is a completely new sound … that’s stretching it. Have you ever listened to Catch Without Arms? It’s certainly similar. CWA was their only album where I thought every song was solid (even if there are critics who think they sounded too mainstream by then). I personally prefer CWA to El Cielo.

    The music and voice are always great … the lyrics can be fairly cheesy at times (I think as demonstrated in the music video above).

  23. Persh says:

    One of my favorite bands, though I can’t say this release trumps the last 2. I like it but it might be inferior to CWA & EC. Also, the interludes take away from the experience for me. Good record, perhaps not great.

  24. James says:

    This is so good. I love Information already, I’ll be sure to look out for this here.

  25. Yupipi says:

    El Cielo was one of those gifts that come to you from nowhere, and like all the records I love the most , it has grown on me deeper and deeper within the years, hard to listen at first plays though but slowly you begin to realize how much you love it, I would compare it like falling slowly in love for a girl without realizing why really.

    Previous album , like CWA was superb and catchy, but it lacked the genious of El Cielo. This new record I think have both of catchy tunes and some of El Cielo greatness. Like said above , Dredg always tries to move forward , that is why I don’t expect they’ll ever release something like Leitmotif again or El Cielo , and they don’t need to. Sorry for such a long post and my english , Dredg have fans all over the world , hope they come to Spain some day!!!!

  26. Jared says:

    This is one of the worst CD’s of all time, especially compared to El Cielo. You’re so wrong it’s unbelievable. You want a good piece, try Stravinsky’s “Song of the Nightingale”.

  27. Skwerl says:

    your mom played that one out for me.

  28. SirPsycho says:

    There will be people stuck on the El Ciel thing and I’m sad for them because “The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion” is better. It’s El Ciel and CWA altogether and much more.

    Brilliant production, music, lyrics.

    Just listen it fairly loud on a good hifi system and get lost on its beauty.

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