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DREDG

Crossover Prog • United States


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Dredg biography
DREDG (officially spelled 'dredg' with a lowercase "d") is a progressive alternative band from Los Gatos, California. Their first studio album, "Leitmotif", was released by the Universal music label on September 11, 2001. Prior to that, it had been self-released by the members of the band. After the album gained retail space, DREDG acquired an almost immediate cult following, owing much to "Leitmotif's" unique sound and concept. There has also been a movie planned for release as a music video for the entire album, though the project has been stalled. "El Cielo", their second album, is also a concept album. On June 21, 2005, Dredg's third album, "Catch Without Arms", was released.

They started performing in clubs while still in highschool, and have come close to perfecting their art-rock/prog sound. DREDG's music can be described as haunting and powerful, if not a bit inspirational to some. They are a prime example that progressive music is still around today and DREDG continues to become more and more popular. All three of their albums have excellent songs, such as Movement I: @45N. 180W, Lechium, and Movement II: Crosswind Minuet from "Leitmotif", Of the Room, Whoa is Me, Same Ol' Road, and Canyon Behind Her from "El Cielo", and Bug Eyes, Ode to the Sun, Catch Without Arms, Matroshka, and Sangreal from "Catch Without Arms".

Dredg is a band with a completely unique sound. They transcend many genres with their art-rock styles and manage to be one of the deepest and most talented modern progressive bands today. I recommend them to anyone looking for a rebirth in great progressive music.


Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
They are one of the best modern progressive bands, and modern prog bands are few and far between in a world filled with unoriginal music.

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Catch Without ArmsCatch Without Arms
Interscope 2005
Audio CD$4.00
$0.01 (used)
LeitmotifLeitmotif
Ohlone Recordings 2011
Audio CD$9.98
$21.80 (used)
El CieloEl Cielo
Interscope 2002
Audio CD$4.23
$0.27 (used)
Chuckles & Mr SqueezyChuckles & Mr Squeezy
Superball Music 2011
Audio CD$6.45
$2.44 (used)
The Pariah, the Parrot, the DelusionThe Pariah, the Parrot, the Delusion
Dredg 2009
Audio CD$8.25
$2.78 (used)
Live At The FillmoreLive At The Fillmore
Interscope 2006
Audio CD$3.99
$0.01 (used)
Chuckles & Mr SqueezyChuckles & Mr Squeezy
Import
Universal Import 2011
Vinyl$23.00
$69.99 (used)
Chuckles & Mr. SqueezyChuckles & Mr. Squeezy
Import
Imports 2012
Audio CD$8.65
$7.76 (used)
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DREDG discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

DREDG top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.43 | 80 ratings
Leitmotif
2001
4.08 | 235 ratings
El Cielo
2002
3.47 | 127 ratings
Catch Without Arms
2005
3.59 | 95 ratings
The Pariah, the Parrot, the Delusion
2009
2.05 | 49 ratings
Chuckles And Mr. Squeezy
2011

DREDG Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.45 | 23 ratings
Live at the Fillmore
2006

DREDG Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

DREDG Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DREDG Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.24 | 7 ratings
Conscious
1996
2.56 | 15 ratings
Orph
1997

DREDG Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 El Cielo by DREDG album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.08 | 235 ratings

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El Cielo
Dredg Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars dredg over the course of their career so far have had two masterpieces, this album and "The Pariah, the Parrot, The Delusion". The other albums have been sort of all over the place, good albums but not quite up to par to these two albums.

This album is a concept album based on a painting by Dali called "Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bumblebee around a Pomegranate One Second Before Awakening" which according to the band symbolizes sleep paralysis which reportedly Dali's wife was plagued with. There are several letters written by dredg fans about sleep paralysis and each song on this album (except for the "Brushstrokes" instrumentals) contains some words from these letters in the lyrics.

The music is guitar-based prog but with a good mixture of keyboards added in which provides a good texture to the music and helps with the variety that is inherent throughout the album. The main songs and the transition pieces in between work very well together and help the songs flow into each other nicely, which is how a well-planned concept album works best. The transition pieces add to the album instead of provide filler, so every part of this album is important. The songs are full of dynamic changes and a lot of styles are used which keep the music interesting. I love variety and there is a lot of it on this album, but the album is still concise and everything fits together well.

One problem with a lot of modern music (especially popular music) is that you can listen to an album and every song follows the same style or pattern so nothing usually stands out. This is a problem bands like U2 has ran into on their recent albums. They get rutted into a certain sound and pretty soon everything sounds the same...every new song is just another song. dredg gives a perfect example of how an album should sound, but they are not concentrating on generating a couple of hits and then adding filler to have enough material for an album. The reason why so many other bands suffer from this is because of digital downloading and the move away from album-oriented music. Hopefully, however, with the resurgence of vinyl, people will return to album- oriented music. With dredg on this album, however, most of the songs here can be listened to on their own just fine, but it works even better as a whole and with that they have accomplished something pretty amazing. That, along with some well written music that utilizes progressive elements very well, gives this music the perfect balance. Plus there is enough of a challenge to this music to make it interesting and intriguing.

So, I do consider this a masterpiece of modern prog music, even though it is not heavily immersed in prog, it deep enough to be quality art rock and is very enjoyable, beautiful at times and exciting in others. I love this album and can't see giving it anything less than 5 stars, even on a progressive rock scale.

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 Conscious by DREDG album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1996
2.24 | 7 ratings

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Conscious
Dredg Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This is quite an early E.P. release from dredg which approaches black metal more that it approached progressive rock. It sounds nothing like what dredg would sound like later. I don't consider this a terrible album, but it's only relation to progressive rock is that they were attempting to provide a heavy sound that also had some progressive structure to it. The songs are kind of same-y with a lot of rap, growling vocals and not much else. The best track is "Juggernaut" which at least holds some hope of the great dredg sound that was to come later.

Like I said, this is not a bad album. The drums sound somewhat like toy drums almost, but the guitar hooks are great. It is to the album's benefit that it is an E.P. though, because by the time the last track plays, you are ready to say, "I've heard enough now" because there isn't much in the way of versatility here. But at least it is interesting to hear how this excellent band got started. Hard to believe that they would produce the amazing albums that would follow later.

Ok so this one is probably considered a collectors item, but don't expect any more value out of it than that. Fans will definitely appreciate it and so will most black metal fans. 2 stars.

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 Chuckles And Mr. Squeezy by DREDG album cover Studio Album, 2011
2.05 | 49 ratings

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Chuckles And Mr. Squeezy
Dredg Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars It looks like a lot of people were shocked at the sudden change of direction of this album compared to dredg's other albums. I believe what they were trying to achieve here was a more popularized alternative feeling with this album, more electronic and almost hip-hop feeling like Gorillaz or Minus the Bear. Those bands have utilized those sounds quite effectively and well. Unfortunately, this attempt by dredg just feels flat. That is a good way to describe the sound here. However, I think if they choose to continue in this particular direction, they might be able to come up with a better album than this if done right. We already know what kind of excellent music dredg can achieve from the masterpiece albums they have released in the past; namely "El Cielo" and "The Pariah, the Parrot and The Delusion". There is no doubt that if instead they decide to return to form that they can release more great albums. Time will tell I guess.

In this album, all the rough edges and hard guitar are gone. The vocals are good on some songs and sort of flat-lined on others. The lyrics are sometimes interesting, and sometimes repetitive. The electronic drums that are used from time to time seem to drain life out of the songs. The guitars are pushed to the back and electronics are given the lime light. Emotion seems to be missing on these songs.

As much as I love dredg's music from past efforts, I try so much to pull something good out of this album, but it is just so hard to do so after the amazing music that I have heard them produce. I can't even see them winning over more fans by popularizing their music in this way because it just sounds too plastic. Maybe I can help you understand how bad this sounds by comparing this to Styx with their albums "The Grand Illusion" and "Cornerstone". The first was a masterpiece and the other was a miserable failure at attempting to popularize their sound. The main difference is I feel I could rate "Cornerstone" at 3 stars. I'm afraid I can only settle for 2 stars here because of a couple of okay songs like "Kalathat" and "Sun Goes Down" that show a little hope, but even that hope seems watered down compared to their amazing work from the past.

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 Catch Without Arms by DREDG album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.47 | 127 ratings

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Catch Without Arms
Dredg Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The first Dredg album I got my hands on was "The Pariah, the Parrot and the Delusion" and after listening to it about 3 times, I came to appreciate how wonderful that album is. Next I got "El Cielo" and once again after a few listens, I fell in love with that one too. So.....the one in the middle should be just as good right? Well, I'll say that it's not terrible, but it isn't as great as either of the albums before or after it. Pretty much what most of the reviewers have been saying about it on this site is close to how I feel about it too. Good music, still on the hard side of progressive rock, but not as hard, not as loud and not as progressive. The songs are somewhat too similar, but as I grow accustomed to the album, I expect I'll start to hear the differences. I guess this must have been an attempt for the band to find an audience, but thank goodness that the next album was just as good as the one prior to this. So, a band is experimenting with it's sound, there is nothing wrong with that, but unfortunately you get some things that work well and others that don't work so well. I can't discount dredg by saying that they aren't good, because I have heard how great they are. But I wouldn't recommend basing your opinion of them on this album alone. Yes there are highlights here, but they are fewer and farther in between than they are on the other two albums I've mentioned. I think you know how this one is going to be rated right? Middle of the road or Good but non-essential pretty much sums it up. 3 stars (you can add a half a star to that if you want for good quality and a few "highs"). Start with the album before or after this one first. You'll be glad you did!

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 El Cielo by DREDG album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.08 | 235 ratings

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El Cielo
Dredg Crossover Prog

Review by Knapitatet

4 stars I have a rocky relation with concept albums. On one hand i think that every album is a concept album by virtue of it being able to take you on a musical journey. But on the other, a well crafted concept can make you experience that journey differently. There is a huge difference between an album like "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" wich expects me to take some silly and contrived story seriously, and an album that only teases and hints at a concept, thereby colouring your imagination further whiles enjoying it.

"El Cielo" is definitely one of those latter albums. It is said to be a concept album about Sleep Paralysis, and as someone who has had his share of sleeping problems i can only say that it shows. Everything in this album feels subdued and unreal like you are stuck in the final stages of a lucid dream, or a nightmare. And i meant that as a compliment.

Dredg has a very talented lead vocalist. His voice can set a mood almost immediatly like he does in "Same Ol' Road". There is also a very inspired use of sound effects and samples on this album like a Japanese man talking excitedly, female chanting etc. Other songs i like is "Triangle" wich features a section in 9/8 time and "Whoa Is Me" wich features some very good, Mars Volta-like Sax playing.

This is a remarkable album. It really stayed with me, long after it finished and the only reason that i will not give it one more star is because of its Post Rock influence wich serves to make many of the song sound very similar and weak.

A haunting and beautiful album. Highly recommended.

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 Catch Without Arms by DREDG album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.47 | 127 ratings

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Catch Without Arms
Dredg Crossover Prog

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

5 stars El Cielo has a little sister, and that sister's name is Catch Without Arms. I cannot imagine someone falling in love with El Cielo and dismissing this treasure, which may be outshined a bit by its predecessor but still shines brightly just the same. I can, however, understand the upturned noses of those expecting this to resemble anything like Yes or King Crimson: Catch Without Arms comes nowhere near the symphonic or eclectic styles of progressive rock. Indeed, the progressive nature of the music is admittedly elusive, but I think what sets it apart from the mainstream acts to which it may fairly be compared (U2, for instance) are the lyrics. The lead singer implies that this is a concept album, that the record is divided into two contrasting parts and that the lyrics reflect opposites or areas of contention. With no disrespect to the songwriter intended, I just don't see it. The lyrics are esoteric and elude a solid interpretation on my part, and yet each syllable, when blessed with their respective melodies, is so persuasive. To complicate things further, each song has a companion painting, each of them bizarre and abstract. Whatever the case, I know I don't have to understand something to love it. The first word in the title is the clue: This is some of the catchiest music I can possibly think of.

"Ode to the Sun" It's always a pleasure to hear the distinctive earnest vocals of Gavin Hayes. After the guitars materialize in post-rock fashion, we're treated to the first in a long series of powerful rock songs with strong, memorable choruses.

"Bug Eyes" Launching into the second potent rocker, awash with guitars and a redolent vocal melody, dredg paints a pretty and nostalgic picture. It causes me to reflect on my life and ask myself if I've been a good steward of the seconds I've been given and the breaths I've taken: "It's time to do something good for my health, time to do something good for myself. I've wasted all this time."

"Catch Without Arms" The star of the title track is the bassist, who lays down a cool groove for the verses. Again, the vocal melodies are stellar (okay, I'm going to say that a lot in this review, so bear with me).

"Not That Simple" The velvety verse leads into the first chorus, which is sung sweet and low. The second refrain is heartening, reminding me that life is ultimately all about trust. And what a brilliant reminder it is. A child's off-key rendition "Planting Seeds" makes me smile.

"Zebraskin" Here's a song I can relate to: "A couple of drinks midday; haven't felt this way since yesterday." The music takes a detour from the hard-hitting pop rock and eases into a comfortable nightclub feel.

"The Tanbark is Hot Lava" A strange title indeed, but the music is straightforward and well-driven. The rhythm is rapid fire and the singing is especially forceful.

"Sang Real" dredg adds a feathery piano over electronic-sounding drums as the simple slippery lead guitar motif slides over it. The chorus is on the softer side, downy and yet somehow persuasive. Strange chattering concludes the track.

"Planting Seeds" The first song of the second part rises like a typical post rock track before the bassist delivers another compelling riff under light clean guitar. I wonder if the seashell found in a sea of shells is deliberately ambiguous: Are we to imagine something found in a large group of like objects, or are the shells more menacing (bullet casings, perhaps?). Whatever the import of the words, they resonate with me in a way that evades description.

"Spitshine" "Spitshine" is another abstruse song ("You spit-shined my corroded halo, then packaged it away; you spit-shined my corroded halo and left it to decay"), but musically it is quite simplistic and easy to follow. "Take this weight off my shoulders and move it to my brain," the singer says. How I've often wished for the opposite.

"Jamais Vu" This opens with a hasty cleanly plucked guitar phrase, though the drums are more languid. Again, the vocal melodies are magnificent, soaring high above the music like the majestic eagle over lovely landscapes.

"Hung Over on a Tuesday" Been there, done that. The music is similar to what has come before. I find dredg to be refreshingly consistent on this album, and they still finds a way to dazzle with compelling vocal melodies.

"Matroshka (The Ornament)" The most peaceful song has electric guitars that almost sound like a distorted organ. The lighter guitars add an attractive texture. It ends the album wonderfully, keeping the reminiscent feel.

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 El Cielo by DREDG album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.08 | 235 ratings

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El Cielo
Dredg Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Dredg hover in an interesting space between the sort of indie rock-based crossover prog pioneered by the likes of Radiohead and their imitators and post-rock; essentially, the songs on El Cielo tend to meander between those territories, with the vocals by Gavin Hayes being a constant presence in both the indie-prog tunes and the epic post-rock crescendos. It's an interesting approach which seems novel and creative but doesn't quite hit the golden spot for me; part of this is because I simply don't like the vocal style Gavin Hayes uses on the album, but also if you look beyond the vocals the band aren't actually doing anything particularly special musically speaking; crossing Radiohead with Mogwai is an interesting thought experiment, but the band are nowhere near as good as Radiohead in the Radiohead bits and not on a par with Mogwai on the Mogwai bits.

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 Chuckles And Mr. Squeezy by DREDG album cover Studio Album, 2011
2.05 | 49 ratings

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Chuckles And Mr. Squeezy
Dredg Crossover Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

2 stars Although I like more melodic and mellow side of Prog at times, there are some limits even I feel difficult to Cross. Like when you get THIS. At first, I was like "Hahahaha!", because even I didn't like Dredg's reportedly masterpiece album (El Cielo), I couldn't deny it its qualities (which earned it so high rating from so many reviews). But this is rock bottom in terms of complexity, but also it's big departure in terms of enjoyability. I liked their last album a bit, but Chuckles shows most of symptoms what I hate about today's music. This is a doomed album, move on.

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 El Cielo by DREDG album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.08 | 235 ratings

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El Cielo
Dredg Crossover Prog

Review by Starhammer
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A sheep in wolf's clothing...

Pretentious is a word which seems to have lost its true meaning in recent years. It gets bandied about and applied to situations of experimentalism, evolution and sometimes virtuosity, which, within the world of prog covers just about everything. However, its definition actually lies within the world of false claims and ostentatiousness. Just because something is that little bit different, or over the top, does not necessarily mean its pretentious. The key is the success or failure to produce something that actually has substance, and is not just smoke and mirrors. This is of course entirely subjective, but I will cite the guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen as an personal example of an extremely talented technician masquerading as an extremely talented musician.

On this particular album dredg pop up at the other end of the pretension scale. El Cielo tries to be deep and meaningful, subtle and even grandiose at times. In reality you just get an hour of dronotonous alternative rock with a few bells and whistles and the occasional ambient interlude. With song titles like Δ and Brushstroke: dcbtfobaaposba, and lines such as "It was inspired by the clarity of consciousness, rather than the vividness of dream, and was the self-proclaimed pinnacle of broken bridges and chest pressure", it would be hard to find anything more pretentious.

Whilst El Cielo is certainly more progressive than its successor Catch Without Arms, it somehow also manages to be less enjoyable, and less engaging. The painfully cruel Sorry But It's Over lures you into thinking that it might just be that, but alas there are another ten tracks yet to come. There are some redeeming features, but one song (Same ol' Road) and generally interesting lyrics aren't enough to recommend this to anyone but fans.

The Verdict: Catastrophically tepid.

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 El Cielo by DREDG album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.08 | 235 ratings

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El Cielo
Dredg Crossover Prog

Review by SoundsofSeasons
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Accessible Gorgeous Balanced Labor-of- Love Art Rock.

This album has touched me on an emotional, almost spiritual level, than almost any other.. besides maybe a few by the heart-gripping Anathema. There is something so perfect about the way this album is glued together.. by pieces that shine brightest due to the total sum of its parts. To put it simply this album has, and will always, stick with me.. it is one of those musical journeys i can, and have, taken dozens upon dozens of times and still to this day i not only may hear something new.. but still adore it. Many prog listeners can think of concept-albums.. (this is a concept album as far as i am concerned, make your own judgements).. that lose their luster after the journey has been taken too many times. I assure you that it hasn't lost any of its luster for myself, and a 'modern' prog lover may very well find that same unwavering loyalty in this album as well. I say modern because sometimes it seems we, the progressive rock fanatics, are sub-divided by those who enjoyed 60's and 70's prog.. then those who have taken to the 'revival' in the 90's and 2000's. I was born in 1990.. i am naturally drawn to music of my, and my peers era.. just as those before me were drawn to their own.

Does anybody feel like I do? .. Masterpiece.

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Thanks to xhamasaki for the artist addition.

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