Dredg - The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion review
|Album:||The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion|
|Release date:||June 2009|
02. Drunk Slide
04. Stamp Of Origin: Pessimistic
05. Light Switch
06. Gathering Pebbles
08. Stamp Of Origin: Ocean Meets Bay
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
17. Down To The Cellar
18. Stamp Of Origin: Horizon
Meandering songs, pretentious concepts, overwrought lyrics, seemingly pointless instrumentals, jarring genre shifts. All of these are musical sins that would usually make an album intolerable and worthy of the harshest of criticism. That is, unless Dredg commits them. Throughout their history, this Californian band continues to baffle me by making albums that I end up completely worshiping even though they fall into each and every one of the pitfalls mentioned above. Call it genius or blind luck - regardless, the band's new album "The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion" is exactly the same.
Once again, none of this should work in theory. The music noticeably lacks the heaviness of Dredg's previous albums, introducing production more common in hip-hop and pop than in rock, with deep, funky bass lines and a sparkling sheen present in higher frequencies. Songs that should focus on soaring refrains and catchy riffs instead favor strange rhythms and a melange of distracting samples and noises. The concept is also, once again, unashamedly pretentious and over the top: based on Salman Rushdie's "Letter To The 6 Millionth Citizen", Dredg see it fit to record an entire album filled with ruminations on the sociological and philosophical aspects of being born in modern times. Whew... quite a doozy, right? Well, theory be damned, this album simply works. It might not be as heavy as "El Cielo" but the band makes up for it by adding a true rock finesse to their sound, which makes songs such as "Pariah", "Ireland" and "Information" impress the listener with a truly prog-rock proficiency. Gavin Hayes already proved that his vocals can soar above anything that the instrumentalists happen to churn out; however, on this album he seems to have noticeably unclenched his buttocks and discovered a previously unexplored dynamic range. This combination of finesse and range makes Dredg capable of a gamut of emotions and with a song like "I Don't Know", it is clear they also haven't forgotten how to write single-worthy material either.
It takes a special kind of talent to be able to operate in musical territories that should not work. Dredg achieves this since they are pretentious but charming, complex but casual, erudite but approachable. Listening to "The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion" is not like attempting to decipher the lecture of a particularly stuck-up professor, it is more like having a beer with a wacky friend. For Dredg, these are not musical sins - it is the band's own language and they use it without making the listener feel like a moron. I sincerely hope they will continue to do so on future albums.
||Written on 11.06.2009 by With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. He lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he does his best to avoid prosecution for being so cool.|
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