Dredg is one of the few bands that I enjoyed all of the way through my teenage years and have carried into my young adulthood. While my musical tastes have drastically changed over the past decade, there was, and still is something about Dredg that I have always loved. El Cielo originally caught my attention, which lead me to check out Leitmotif and then eagerly await the release of Catch Without Arms. While there is something in each of these albums that I greatly enjoy, my only issue with Dredg has been their lack of consistency within each album. Their best songs easily carry each one, but I’ve been waiting for them to release an album that flows strongly from start to finish. The Pariah, the Parrot, the Delusion is that album. I will admit that I did hear a leaked version and was not very impressed at first, but after picking a copy up the day it was released everything changed. I’ve listened to the album all the way through at least 10 times over the past 36 hours or so and it keeps growing on me more with each spin. They have finally done it for me – successfully combined all of their beautiful, aggressive, and powerful sounds into a full hour of stunning music. Oddly enough, some of the best moments on the album somehow fall within the instrumental movements and bridges between songs, without taking away from any of the songs stand alone power whatsoever. I would normally offer my favorite tracks at this point but I simply can’t choose. With each listen I pick out new parts I previously didn’t hear on almost every song. Believe me, they are all worth a listen. I really can’t recommend this album enough. If you don’t like it the first time you hear it, give it another listen, I promise it will grow on you!
- Filmed live at Obras Stadium, Buenos Aires, Argentina on October 9, 2005! SONG LIST: 1. Blackmail the Universe / 2. Set the World Afire / 3. Wake the Dead / 4. In My Darkest Hour / 5. She Wolf / 6. Reckoning Day / 7. A Tout Le Monde / 8. Hangar 18 & Return of Hangar 18 / 9. I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'ll Be There / 10. Tornado of Souls / 11. Trust / 12. Something That I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'m Not / 13. Kick the Chair / 14. Coming Ho
Aggressive and beautiful, visceral and thoughtful, Dredg are set to release their highly anticipated release, The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion on Ohlone Recordings June 9, 2009. Produced by Matt Radosevich, ”The Pariah…” marks the Bay Area band s fourth full-length studio album. On this release, Gavin Hayes (vocals, guitar), Drew Roulette (bass, moog, speak & spell, samples), Mark Engles (guitar) and Dino Campanella (drums, keys) combine to create equal parts punk aggression and metallic complexity – a sound that brings together the artistic instrumentation, haunting vocals and emotional intensity that is Dredg. Though driven by rhythms and guitars, ”The Pariah…” is far from a typical rock album. Inspired in part by Salman Rushdie s essay Imagine There’s No Heaven: A Letter to the 6 Billionth Citizen, Dredg capture the madness of the modern world, particularly its battles over religion and science, within a musical missive to the future. Fittingly, ”The Pariah…” is packaged and constructed like a letter, its songs and instrumental interludes connected by eerie, evocative Wurlitzer piano-and-voice segments. Diverse and textured, these intentional imperfections allow some of Dredg s mellowest recorded moments to mingle with some of their harshest. ”The Pariah…” combines the raw power of the band s earliest records with both the epic, cinematic sweep and operatic ambition of ”El Cielo” as well as the exceptional songwriting and searing ballast of ”Catch Without Arms.”
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In all honesty, as the day of The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion’s release approached I became a little scared that maybe all of the hype and anticipation I had set up for myself would fall right through the floor. A few days after its release, I bought the album, carefully put the CD into my car stereo, and began my fourth Dredg experience. Before the first song had even finished, I knew that this CD was going to be something special. Its been almost 3 days and the CD still has yet to leave my car stereo.
About four years ago was the first time I was introduced to Dredg and listened to “The Canyon Behind Her”. I later bought El Cielo and was floored by the near flawless construction of the album. After El Cielo I bought Catch Without Arms, again absolutely mesmerized by each track. Leitmotif was obviously the next buy, providing me with an origin for this band I have come to absolutely know and love.
Dredg has thoroughly proved to be one of those bands that will continue to grow for quite sometime. It took four years and a couple delays for the sound of The Pariah, the Parrot, the Delusion to hit are our ears. To say the least, it was well worth the wait. The new album is cramed with 18 tracks, which was another fear of mine once I bought the album. I thought Dredg may just be stuffing in as much as possible. Not so. The structure of the album is very reminiscent of El Cielo. Instead of being based around a Salvidor Dali painting, the album is based off of a Salman Rushdie essay, and instead of Brushstrokes the CD is broken up with Stamps of Origin. The new CD still has some of the poppy, dance sounds found on Catch Without Arm tracks, such as “Mourning This Morning” and “Drunk Slide”. With the poppy sound there is still plenty of songs with hard guitar riffs that sound like distant cousins of songs from Leitotif. Also like Leitmotif, The Pariah, the Parrot, the Delusion are also sprinkled with some instrumentals.
The new album is definitely a push foward. A band that is already fantastic has become even better. The lyrics are heartfelt and thought provoking and the music is solid and powerful. Dredg fans will be thoroughly pleased and I’m sure there is a lot offered to even those who’ve yet to be introduced. The Pariah, the Parrot, the Delusion is nothing less than spectacular and is another great installment to the ever evolving sound of Dredg.
Dredg’s first album in four years, “The Pariah, The Parrot and The Delusion,” is the first since their debut to be recorded without the supervision of a record label and the pressure to deliver a “hit” single, and it shows. Reverting more to the structure of their sophomore/break-through album, “El Cielo,” while retaining the knack for writing conventional songs that they fine-tuned on “Catch Without Arms,” Dredg may have very well made both their most ambitious and most accessible effort to date.
For Dredg, it’s all about moving forward, which means no more 20 minute long interludes/instrumentals but also, no restraint. As good as “Catch Without Arms” was, it was all too obvious that they were holding back, thanks to being on a major label and still being relatively young in their career. With the maturity and freedom they have finally attained on “The Pariah, The Parrot and The Delusion,” the California foursome leave no sonic stone unturned. A band truly in love with the art of making music, they will explore and expand whenever and wherever they can. If it means writing a “bumping,” radio-friendly single with a hip-hop beat (“Saviour”), then so be it. If it means peppering your album with bizarre interludes like “R U O K?” that feature digitized vocals or “Long Days and Vague Clues,” which could easily serve as the score for a Tim Burton flick, then that works too. The bluesy “Lightswitch” or the more modern-rock-ish “I Don’t Know” help off-set the balance, but it’s the sleek and cool R&B of “Mourning This Mourning” that best sums up Dredg’s adventurous nature and their ability to make just plain good music. What really stands out here, though, is the fact that Dredg are no longer confined to being just an “art-rock” band, nor are they held back by catering to a mainstream that they will likely never fit into anyways.
The songs are great, and the musicianship is top shelf. It’s every bit as experimental as you expect Dredg to be, while being every bit as cathartic and emotional too. Four albums in and over eleven years in the game, they show no sign of slowing down and have yet to sacrifice a shred of credibility. Longtime fans will rejoice at somewhat of a return to form for the band, while those late-comers who prefer a slightly easier-to-swallow sound will no doubt be enlightened by all “The Pariah, The Parrot and The Delusion” has to offer. If you have made it to the end of my review and you still aren’t convinced, take my word for it: This is the best album you’ll hear all year.
After four years of waiting, Dredg’s fourth studio album can be yours for only a reasonable sum of money! This recording of music by one of Matt Jacobs’ favorite bands is finally here, and well worth the price of entry! It’s not as great as their last two albums, but this music is so good you’ll be completely puzzled at how no major review outlet will give this band the time of day! Marvel at how despite the radical shift in the band’s sound over the last decade, they’ve never failed to make something interesting. Tremble before the might of the rocking bass lines. Be slightly disappointed at the continued lack of lyrics in the accompanying booklet. Ignore the fact that the band members are probably really pretentious because you like their music anyway. It can be yours, today!
Included among this album’s 18 tracks are:
- 3 catchy singles
- 7 more full songs
- 4 instrumental interludes of varying length
- 4 “Stamp of Origin” tracks, bite-sized musical nuggets to round out the experience
- And more!*
If you can’t enjoy the thrills to be found in songs like “Pariah”, “Ireland”, “Information”, “I Don’t Know”, “Quotes”, and others, then I don’t know what the hell’s wrong with you and frankly I don’t want to talk to you anymore! Act now!
*There is no more.
The follow up to 2005’s stellar “Catch Without Arms” is finally here, and while “The Pariah, The Parot, and The Delusion” won’t be winning over any non-believers, it certainly shouldn’t be a disappointment for current fans.
The band takes little risks with this release, undoubtedly in light of their obvious predicament. After releasing one conceptual masterpiece, “El Cielo,” and the more straight-forward but equally as satisfying “Catch Without Arms,” the band must have been concerned with how one finds balance between both albums while keeping everyone happy.
The new album manages to find that balance. Fans of the earlier work will be relieved to know that dredg hasn’t gone in a more commercial direction; which, if I remember correctly, was a big concern for some after the last release.
The songs on the record should get better with age, unlike the immediately good but quick staling ones off of “Catch Without Arms.” Also, the experimental edge missing from the last release is back in full-swing; Indeed, “The Pariah, The Parrot, and The Delusion” is perhaps dredg’s most experimental record to date.
Of course, there’s a flipside. Despite sharing a “Brushtrokes” type interlude technique (here, they’re called “Stamps of Origin”), the conceptual aspect seems to be existent only on the surface. The album never reaches the conceptual heights of “El Cielo,” and if there’s some deeper theme to delve into here, it’s blown right past me. You won’t find the diversity of the previous albums here, either. For the most part, the songs all carry the same moods and move at the same tempos.
The album isn’t bad by any means. It’s just not the aesthetic statement fans are likely waiting for after four years of vacationing. Still, there’s something here for everyone- U2’s-esque soundscaping guitar solos, more experimentation with different sounds than the last Radiohead album, and a more heartfelt aesthetic approach than that of–well– any Tool album. It could be that the album takes to few risks; low points are as few and far between as ever, but the highs aren’t nearly as high as on previously releases. It may also just be that dredg just isn’t the sort of band that can afford to wait almost half a decade between albums.
I give “The Pariah, The Parrot, and the Delusion” an 90/100, or 4.5/5; rounding up to 5/5.