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DREADNAUGHT

Eclectic Prog • United States


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Dreadnaught biography
DREADNAUGHT explores a unique blend of prog and traditional American music - call it 'symphonic Bluegrass' if you will, or 'Progabilly' as the band like to call it themselves. If the mere mention of the words makes you cringe, however, think again: only the most rabid country-music-hating ProgSnobs would scorn these guys. This highly entertaining outfit blends some of the most unlikely elements ever to be found in prog. Although predominantly instrumental, their albums feature a fair number of vocal pieces recalling early PHISH; touches of The DIXIE DREGS and KANSAS also come through in the violin filled tracks.

They have released four studio albums since 1998. Their first (self-titled) features among other tracks a number of live showstoppers from 1996 to 1999. Their second, "Una Vez Mas" (2000), is an eclectic and vibrant sonic excursion that veers from tightly arranged, hook-filled pieces to improvisational prog-soul hybrids. "The American Standard" (2001), yet another stewing brew of sturdy jazz rock with Southern accents, remains a fan favourite todate, although a brand new album has just been released, "Musica en Flagrante" (2004), which is said to be less rockabilly and features more Fender Rhodes.

Highly recommended to fans of the HAMPTON GREASE BAND, BOZZIO LEVINS STEVENS and LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

Dreadnaught official website

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DREADNAUGHT Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy DREADNAUGHT Music


Musica En FlagranteMusica En Flagrante
Big Balloon Music 2004
Audio CD$20.59
$19.89 (used)
High Heat & Chin MusicHigh Heat & Chin Music
2007
Audio CD$33.59
$19.98 (used)
Down to ZeroDown to Zero
Music Cartel 2000
Audio CD$4.29
$0.24 (used)
Live at MojoLive at Mojo
Import
Horizons Italy 2005
Audio CD$28.56
$15.36 (used)
Have a Drink With DreadnaughtHave a Drink With Dreadnaught
CD Baby 2013
Audio CD$7.40
$8.54 (used)
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DREADNAUGHT discography


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

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

2.00 | 1 ratings
Dreadnaught
1998
3.00 | 2 ratings
Una vez Mas
2000
4.76 | 19 ratings
The American Standard
2001
4.73 | 11 ratings
Musica En Flagrante
2004

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Live At Mojo
2005

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

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

4.00 | 3 ratings
High Heat & Chin Music
2006

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

4.50 | 2 ratings
Have A Drink With Dreadnaught
2013

DREADNAUGHT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The American Standard by DREADNAUGHT album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.76 | 19 ratings

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The American Standard
Dreadnaught Eclectic Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team

5 stars Last year I got a package from Dreadnaught containing their most recent EP (Have A Drink With Dreadnaught, reviewed here: progarchives.com/Review.asp?id=1088015) and their classic album The American Standard (2001). The low point is that both were cardboard envelopes, but the music, oh the music!

Have A Drink With Dreadnaught (2013) is an amazing collection of 5 VERY different songs. So I was a bit excited to try out The American Standard (2001). And oh boy, what an album!

Is VERY hard to point a finger on what Dreadnaught did here, IT IS Prog, but at the same time is crazy and full of every genre you could possibly imagine. There's a sense of urgency in the album, a sense of limitless music, a fearless attempt of doing something different, unusual and out of the ordinary. The American Standard (2001) is Progressive in the true sense of the word.

The trio formed by Robert M. Lord (bass, synthesizer and background vocals), Richard R. Habib (drums, percussion and vocals) and Justin S. Walton (electric and acoustic guitars, piano, saxophone, organ and vocals) entered to the hall of my favorite bands. Now I'll go straight to Musica En Flagrante (2004) without any trace of hesitation. HIGHLY recommended! By the way, you can listen/buy all of their albums on their Bandcamp: dreadnaughtmusic.bandcamp.com/

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 Have A Drink With Dreadnaught by DREADNAUGHT album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
4.50 | 2 ratings

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Have A Drink With Dreadnaught
Dreadnaught Eclectic Prog

Review by Sagichim
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

5 stars Groovin' the prog rock!

2013 had a lot of great music no doubt about it, but it also included a return to form by one of my most beloved bands in this genre and overall in the archives. It's been 7 years since Dreadnaught released any music to the world but like many cases it was worth the wait. The band released 4 studio albums to this day and are now currently working on a new album/project called Hard Chargin', So what we have now is a quick taste from that project which is supposed to be a full lenth album. This album sounds very mature and confident, it looks like Dreadnaught has found their own niche and feels very comfortable there, it doesn't mean they're releasing the same album over and over again, far from it, they just can do what ever crosses their mind and it works. I mean who the hell can mix country, funk and prog rock?? Well apparently it can be done.

This EP shows Dreadnaught still got it. They are in perfect shape, the playing is tight and accurate as hell and the writing is still very interesting and a lot of fun. Their last album "Musica En Flagrante" showed a creative peak in songwriting while incorporating more acoustic instruments and some evident keyboards resulting in one of the most eclectic albums out there, while sharing the spot light with their session musicians. This time it seems the band is focusing on getting back to their early days, where bass, guitar and drums are dominating the sound, there's still other instruments involved like violins and saxophone, but they contribute to making a bigger and more eclectic sound and not focusing on solos or interplays. It sounds to me like the band is looking at their early years and paying their selves a little tribute, only this time it is done better and it's much more progressive. The music still has that southern US country feel (please don't stop reading), very complex, sophisticated and very progressive, following their distinctive ultra crispy sound. When it comes to mixing groove/funk and prog rock these guys are the masters, the songs benefit from gazillion ideas, evolving from one to the next so easily that you can play it on mainstream radio and no one would notice. Guitar player Justin Walton is no less than a genius in my book, his quirky, groovy runs are unparalleled, he throws all kinds of odd balls and is very diverse in his playing and his ideas, easily one of my favorite guitar players ever. Bassist Bob Lord doesn't take the back seat when it comes to bass players, he's as groovy as his pal and together they are a real force. Rick Habib is handling the task very easily, but what's with that weird snare sound??? I still haven't figured that one out.

I must confess that at first I thought this EP is just good and nothing more, but as the case with so many albums, the picture got clearer with every spin. I guess I just thought they would take a different road, closer to "Musica En Flagrante", but of course I have no trouble with what we have here. "Corrupticus 5" is a country flavoured tune where Justin Walton is the main star here, delivering some brilliant guitars, just pay attention to everything he does, this is really unique and highly eclectic. "Surface Raid" is a rocking instrumental using violin sound in the main theme, it's a stable ground for the band to break wild, very good stuff. "The Bear" is.....what is that?? would that work in a circus?? it's short, fast, zany, complex and has too many ideas for a 3 minute song (I mean that in a good way). "JPF" has some very cool bass playing from Lord, great song overall. "Trophy Bride" is outstanding!! begining with thee coolest guitar mini solo ever on top of some groovy bass line, again very complex and progressive, cramming so many ideas in one song.

So if you like some groove and humor, where music is on the fun side but still maintaining clear prog influences, (think of a progier Phish maybe) check out this album or band. It's actually very hard describing everything that goes on in here so it's better to have a listen, the album is currently available on their bandcamp page. This is essential Dreadnaught, and yes I'm a fan boy! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

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 Have A Drink With Dreadnaught by DREADNAUGHT album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
4.50 | 2 ratings

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Have A Drink With Dreadnaught
Dreadnaught Eclectic Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team

4 stars Dreadnaught may not be known by many of you, but they've been recording together since 1998, over 15 years and counting. Formed by the trio Rick Habib (drums), Bob Lord (bass and vocals) and Justin Walton (guitars and vocals) Dreadnaught was absent from recording their own music for quite some time but they are now back with the EP Have A Drink With Dreadnaught (2013).

It's quite impossible to point a finger to where the band is going or what style exactly they play, but that's precisely what they wanted and you can see it with their official statement: 'What is the point of doing what has already been done? We'll leave that to the other folks.' And this pretty much explains everything. When it comes to Have A Drink With Dreadnaught (2013) it is no different, 5 tracks' 5 different songs!

The opener of the disc 'Corrupticus 5' is a country-like-Americana-at-heart song that is also organ driven, quite something. The instrumental 'Surface Raid' is completely weird with Disco orchestral kind of synthesizers and its great guitars. A very good mess.

Then, when one might think that they have listened to enough weird music and they will now follow some pattern 'The Bear' comes along with some latin influence, double vocals and the most twisted riff/interludes ever. And yet the track is catchy and singable. 'JPF' reminded me of the band Pilot with its double riffed Pop guitars. And yes, 'JPF' is more of a Pop song, the 70's kind of well-crafted Pop. That was a time where every song had a meticulous arrangement including the Pop scene and Dreadnaught knows that and went for it with intelligence. Great track! To finish Have A Drink With Dreadnaught (2013) we have the track 'Trophy Bride' that brings a great bass line and a wall of good guitars. It is a danceable song with lots of stuff happening on the background.

Even though Dreadnaught is not a Progressive band by standard rules you can't put them aside exactly because of that! They have no rules and they want to keep progressing, no matter the way.

Have A Drink With Dreadnaught (2013) is 5 different bands in the same disc but with unity. Weird, interesting and charged with amazing musicianship. Too bad Have A Drink With Dreadnaught (2013) comes only in a cardboard envelope with no info whatsoever about the band or the recordings.

A great EP for the curious minds that will not settle with only one genre of music. Waiting for their next full-length album now!

(Originally posted on progshine.net)

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 Musica En Flagrante by DREADNAUGHT album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.73 | 11 ratings

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Musica En Flagrante
Dreadnaught Eclectic Prog

Review by Sagichim
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

5 stars Dreadnaught's last album to date is a different ball game from anything they released up till now. Musica En Flagrante assures Dreadnaught is one the best bands out there, but still as obscure as an early 70's self promoted Italian progressive band. I'll give them all the credit in the world for reaching so far out and still manage to present us with such a clever and sensitive instrumental work. Where several bands get hundreds of reviews the first week of releasing an album, this one is so forgotten it makes me very sad and frustrated. As a lot of bands follow formulas and releases kind of the same album over and over again, dreadnaught is focusing on how they are going to do it differently, which makes progressive rock definition complete, not only the music is progressive it's also new! something the band haven't yet experienced with, reminding me in spirit of King Crimson.

Their previous album The American Standard is certainly one of my favorite albums to date, and I was hoping they would release something as great, but nothing prepared me for this. As the previous album was rocky, eclectic fusing elements like funk, avant-garde and was quite hard to categorize, this album is fairly less rocky and goes towards more avant realms, accessible Rio maybe, but even harder to pin point. Knowing their discography I would never thought this was the same band, without recognizing their distinct sound. What makes this release sound so different is the inclusion of more evident keyboards than before, violin, sax, piano, harmonica and more. The band's sound is absolutely stunning, bass guitar and electric guitars sounds like no other, they have the crispest sound you could ever wish for, this is actually the band's signature sound and what makes them so fun to listen to, how do they manage to create it? Don't ask me. Guitarist Justin Walton comes with all kinds of schizoid runs and licks, showing you what would have happen if Steve Howe was born in Alabama. Bob Lord also unleashes a captivating sound and is definitely a gifted and an outstanding bassists, reminding me of Les Claypool on meds.

The music never goes in the same road nor travels popular paths, it's quite new and i can't honestly compare them to any band i know, while in the past Primus or Phish would come to mind, now only tiny traces are scattered around, sprouting out here and there. There are 19 tracks here, going through different styles and moods, while maintaining a perfect balance between everything, touching each style in his turn and in the right time. Like I said it's quite hard to define the music and everything I'll say won't even get you close to understand the complexity of the music but i'll try. I can say it falls between avant-garde (nothing freaky), jazz, rock, funk, electronic, chamber and experimental, but they are all too general definitions to really grasp what's going on inside this piece. Each track goes from several mood changes easily, or slides to another without noticing, I love the fact that one moment you are in a quirky rocky interlude and the next you are swept by orchestral breaks, or grooving to the coolest harmonica. While in the previous album I was struck by the phenomenal playing of the trio, now i'm amazed by their progressive writing, for they are not trying to shine at all, relying on their self playing prowess, they give a lot of credit to their hired musicians giving them a lot of space to express them selves. Compositions contains a lot of ideas and the playing is nothing less than top notch. Just check out 'Tiny Machines' which brings to mind The American Standard material, featuring their distinctive quirky playing and very imaginative writing, grabing you tight and not letting you off the train until it's safe. 'Northern Pike' follows this, but shoots you from a cannon to the other side of the scale, at first you don't know what to expect, but they hold you down with their subtle and exquisite playing and when that harmonica sweeps inside, you have to applaud them for they certainly knows the job. 'Big Cats' and'Threnody for the Victims of Brother Theodore' are two more highlights which I fail to describe cause there isn't anything quite like it, incorporating all the elements mentioned before and giving birth to something new. Fabulous really. 'The Sirens of Titan' is a short suite which demonstrates just how diverse and imaginative they can be, playing an avant-garde intro which breaks to a beautiful violin and goes back to the avant through the back door, throwing some beautiful saxophone to the mix and some more violin, you have to hear it to believe it. 'Royal Jelly' ends this ride with a great performance of what this trio knows best, another rockabilly or should I say progabilly excursion of freak out sounds, riffs and memorable playing.

Musica En Flagrante is a modern masterpiece of progressive rock, no doubt about it, and although I would prefer 70's progressive rock just about any day, this band is one of the few cases where I can question this statement. It just has it all from phenomenal playing, great sesibility, varied instrumentation, out of this world arrangements and just about 5 tons of creativity.

it's been too long since the band released anything, so I took the liberty of writing Bob an email, saying just how I enjoy their music and what the hell is taking them so long? he answered me saying thanks, and how hard it's been since he travels a lot and producing other music, but they do visit the studio, he also said and I quote "Know that you are interested will push us! Not enough positive feedback these days..." It's a real shame this kind of professional music does not get the right amount of attention, so if you do not own this, do yourself a big favour and buy a copy. 5+ stars!! a mark i give to very few releases. Thanks.

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 The American Standard by DREADNAUGHT album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.76 | 19 ratings

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The American Standard
Dreadnaught Eclectic Prog

Review by Sagichim
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

5 stars I wish this was the american standard!

Did you know that this masterpiece exist? Where great known bands from each genre here gets their fair share of reviews, some bands are left aside and does not get promoted. I would rate Dreadnaught the no.1 overlooked band here at PA, taking into consideration the amount of reviews they got against music quality. Dreadnaught are not new in the prog biz, 'The American Standard' is their third album and their first to go all the way to heavy funky prog rock town. They are a 3 man totally insane american band who seem to be exploring a niche that no man have gone before, although sometimes remind in spirit bands like Primus or Phish. Their music on this album can be described as avant-garde country funk prog rock ( yes it's a genre now! ). But actually describing their sound and music with words is useless cause it seems they are coming from out of space. Basses and electric guitar sound is totally refreshing, they have that crisp sound of new strings on your guitar only enhanced and distorted. guitarist Justin Walton comes out with some weird noises in addition to some groovy fast guitar licks, he does not have to solo because he's guitar is already doing so much, moving from strange chords to quirky runs, always with such great taste and totally rocky too. Bassist Bob Lord comes out too with sounds from hell, he's playing is always noticeable and is a crucial part of the overall psycho sound, together they are incomparable. Drummer Rick Habib has no problem keeping up with his two buddies and adds some great fills along with the off beat rhythm they are creating.

The music like i said has a southern US feel, very complex and progressive moving from beautiful melodic parts to avant-garde to hard rocking funk stuff and punky outbursts coming from god knows where, everything is well balanced and there is no way to know where they gonna go next, one moment they are dark sounding and the other they are the happiest band alive. The album starts out with Ballbuster which is an accurate title for the nuclear bomb dropped on your ears, a full power high voltage rocky tune that grabs you and doesn't let you go leaving you uncertain of what the hell just happened, and in the same time so intrigued to continue. As good as the opener was it doesn't really prepare you to the next exhilarating, brilliant 20 minute piece, divided into 4 parts that takes you on a journey incorporating all of those styles mentioned before. The piece is very dynamic and holds lighter parts against heavy complex rhythms, reminding you some wacky King Crimson Red era fused with Zappa that will make you drool all over the floor. I mean a band that takes some disco beats and turns them into prog rock got to be special enough. The rest of the album continues in that line taking you on a roller coaster of sounds and intricate out of this world tunes, as they incorporate violin and piano notes just too be sure you are still on the train. Vocals seem to be goofy sometimes but sound good and side by side with the already crazy music. It's interesting that the music has a light feel to it but it's all serious too.

Knowing this album for a few years now makes me realize that i haven't heard something so challenging and invigorating in 20 years ( except for a very few albums maybe ) , while other bands are playing it safe and releases the same album over and over again, Dreadnaught seem to remind everybody what's progressive rock is all about, taking all the risks and coming out with an album full of new ideas and sounds. Every genre has to evolve except progressive rock is a statement taken by the band and crushed to pieces. Being compared to other bands doesn't really do it cause dreadnaught is on their own. Their next album 'Musica En Flagrante' see the band evolve further more and is worth checking out too. This is one of the few albums i would rate with 5+ stars along with other masterpieces of the genre. The very high rating for the album is accurate, an essential masterpiece of progressive rock, don't miss it for the world!

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 High Heat & Chin Music by DREADNAUGHT album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
4.00 | 3 ratings

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High Heat & Chin Music
Dreadnaught Eclectic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Dreadnaught is an entity unknown for me until I got the promo for this double CD compilation.

With a career spanning more than 10 years now they have to be seen as veterans, and their chosen musical field is one they are pretty much alone in exploring, seemingly. The music is progressive and experimental; but with aspects to the music rarely found in other progressive acts.

Most songs are short; and the progressive elements are numerous changes in pace, style and mood in all songs; as ell as mixing elements from different types of music. The staggering 28 tracks on this CD goes from blues based quirky rock to industrial electronica in style, with influences from indie rock, glam rock and country thrown in the mix. Quirky guitar playing is a central element in all songs, and a chunky hard bass in many.

Musically I'd guess fans of Frank Zappa and similar artists will find this quite appealing; as well as others enjoying music not confined to conventional styles and structures.

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 Musica En Flagrante by DREADNAUGHT album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.73 | 11 ratings

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Musica En Flagrante
Dreadnaught Eclectic Prog

Review by hdfisch
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Avant-Garde?? Fusion? Never mind! Certainly an awesome masterpiece in progressive music!!

DREADNAUGHT is a very interesting unique band and as far as I read none of their albums is similar to another, moreover there are no comparisons possible to any other band. Nevertheless when listening carefully to their music one can detect direct influences like Zappa, King Crimson, Country, Hillbilly, Blues, Jazz and modern electronic as well as some modern chamber music. Actually their sound is in a way impossible to describe. I would call it something like Avant-Fusion if there would be such a thing, not really like the mostly hard to be digested stuff usually presented in Avant-Garde but some innovative music that can be absolutely enjoying for anyone with an open mind and open ears.

"Musica En Flagrante" contains 19 tracks most of them being shorter than 3 minutes. This fact might bring to mind artists like Mike Patton or Mike Keneally showing similar structures on their albums. But I've to say that Dreadnaught's music is much more pleasant to the ears and I dare say (without putting those musicians down) it is of superior quality. Although styles are being changed at times within seconds the seemingly constant flow of the music is not disrupted at any moment. One could say that they thoroughly reconstructed their influences by adding them up to their very own material and created like this an entirely independent truly self-contained music style. Sometimes there are motifs placed next to each other that never have been joined in that way and even no one before would have thought that they fit together. But like a big wondrous surprise it really works and the result is just astounding. Though it's really almost impossible to describe the music offered here I'll try to give at least a rough overview of the CD. But anyway I'd like to advice everybody just to listen to it and to expect the unexpected.

The slightly ambient opener "R. Daneel Olivaw" (title taken from a novel by Isaac Asimov) is with its laidback groove a perfect introduction to the band's sound. Thereafter the styles are going from surf sound over some type of semi-improvised avant-garde with moderate dissonance played on piano and brass to the highly playful "Tiny Machines" sounding like a weird alienated modern and rocking version of ancient movie score track "The Clou" (if I'm not wrong). Then comes one of my favorites on here the kinda acid jazz piece "Northern Pike" with an amazingly cool harmonica revealing a bit the style called "Progabilly" they had become known for after their album "The American Standard". This is the longest track on here and really great stuff I just can say. The short "Gulf of Tonkin" is rocking off to something called "Pants Down" (in two pieces) that sounds again quite avant-gardistic, dark and rather industrial-alike. "Big Cats" and "Threnody." are opening in a way second half of the album which is overall less upbeat with a more orchestral and film score like approach. Some people call the second half somehow weaker and less interesting than the first one. I would say it's just different, not as quirky as the first couple of pieces having a more lush and symphonic atmosphere but without any apparent decrease in quality. "Fanfare for a losing team" is a kind of Zappa-tinged modern chamber rock whereas "The Boston Crab" is returning to a more guitar and bass dominated sound with some metal-alike eruptions. "Elba", another one of the few longer tracks is another favorite of mine, a piece dominated by a dark keyboard sound and bass. Before the album is closed by "Royal Jelly", a guitar dominated rather upbeat track there is the chamber rock piece "The Sirens Of Titan" which is subdivided by four parts and offers some great violin sound in gypsy style.

To summarize my impression of this work I just can say that there isn't any moment of boredom present neither are there any parts filled with everlasting soloing or enervating dissonance and oddity. I'm not sure if my review can help anyone to get an idea what this CD sounds like. I just hope so and possibly I could at least quicken the appetite of some people with an affinity for some innovative and adventurous music done with extremely artistic skills and talents. I can't see any reason for resisting to give the highest score for this.

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 The American Standard by DREADNAUGHT album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.76 | 19 ratings

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The American Standard
Dreadnaught Eclectic Prog

Review by Steve Hegede
Prog Reviewer

5 stars DREADNAUGHT is a relatively new 3-piece American band. They consider themselves a "Progabilly" band, but their music bursts with dozens of different musical styles. The most noticeable influence in this band is PHISH. DREADNAUGHT seem to have been influenced especially by JUNTA-era PHISH, back when PHISH wasn't afraid of creating complex progressive music and Trey Anastasio loved to sing about all sorts of oddball topics. Guitarist Justin S. Walton has studied Trey's guitar style well, yet he takes that style to a new level with all sorts of schizo-guitar runs/licks, interesting chordal shapes, and avant-garde jazz-guitar techniques. He very often jumps, as a loose example, from Anastasio/Howe-like Rockabilly vamps, to dark KING CRIMSON-ish guitar licks, and then finishes the theme with a gentle Django-esque acoustic guitar melody. This is some of the best guitar work that I've heard in years. Another influence that comes to my mind, when listening to Justin's guitar work, is the HAMPTON GREASE BAND. If you are familiar with this incredible southern American prog band, Justin's guitar style is like a modern version of Glenn Phillip's style on that album. The other two main musicians in DREADNAUGHT are also worth mentioning. Bassist Robert Lord adds some rather unique bass work all over the album. I can't really compare him to anyone else, but his presence is heard throughout the CD due to all sorts of cool sound-effects and bass licks. Drummer Richard Habib somehow keeps up with the two other guys by playing non-cliched grooves, and very often matches complicated melodies note-for-note. The music, as I mentioned, is well-balanced and features all sorts of styles (some surprising styles too). This band loves to play complicated PHISH/HAMPTON GREASE BAND-like sections of music that are sometimes as frantic as some of YEZDA URFA's music on "Sacred Baboon". I even hear a subtle hint of RIO (5UU'S, UNIVERS ZERO, and HENRY COW) in some sections. But these guys also like to sing poppier, yet oddball, songs that could definitely get airplay on a college radio station. Overall, though, the catchy vocal-based tunes balance out the crazier instrumental moments on the CD. Once in a while, violin, piano, flute, and even French Horn are added to various tracks. Some of those guest musicians add interesting colors to the arrangements; especially the violinist who reminds a bit of Stephan Grapelli. Anyway, "American Standard" is killer. I'm not sure what neo-prog, and sympho-prog fans are going to think of it, but if you love early PHISH, the HAMPTON GREASE BAND, Trey Anastasio's poppier song writing, Steve HOWE's rockabilly influences, YEZDA URFA's instrumental sections, then you will definitely love the music here. Okay, I think I'm going to pick up my guitar now, and try to figure out what the hell Justin is doing on most of this album.

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 The American Standard by DREADNAUGHT album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.76 | 19 ratings

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The American Standard
Dreadnaught Eclectic Prog

Review by briankay66

5 stars "And now for something completely different..." Introducing the best band you've never heard in your life, Dreadnaught. This musically insane 3-piece band hails from New England, (New Hampshire to be exact), and has unleashed a sound and style on an unsuspecting prog world that will not just knock your socks off, it will blow them across the room. They have been described as "Yes meets Zappa at Willie Nelson's BBQ" and "King Crimson at a hoedown." The band itself has proclaimed their style as "prog-a-billy." And for all you old-school-I-heard-it-all-before prog heads out there, let me make this clear...you ain't ever heard nuthin' like 2001's THE AMERICAN STANDARD before! This largely instrumental, endlessly fascinating CD features chainsaw-fuzzball basslines driving diverse and complex compositions with all the subtlety of a good olde-fashioned Blitzkrieg, interweaving with usually clean, unusually intricate, eccentric guitar parts and rock solid drumming. The album starts out with BALLBUSTER, an aptly titled, out-of-control exercise in sonic acrobatics and dynamics that'll have you giggling like a little school girl as it slams you to the floor and doesn't let you go . And that's just the beginning. The 4 part, 20 minute opus DEUS EX MACHINA starts out innocently enough with a Stray-Cats-on-acid melody that soon rockets into the stratosphere with a bassline from country bumpkin hell, groovy guitars, bouncy pianos, and more rhythmic and melodic changes than you can shake a fist at. But it's not all in-your-face thunder. THE AMERICAN STANDARD possesses a dynamic that the Crimson King himself would be fond of! The quiet and subtle beauty of DERBY DAYS, and the quasi-techno sound and feel of DENEB, sound right at home beside the sonic fury of JAMES THRESHER INDUSTRIES, the latter of which features multiple kazoo parts. BUNNASCHIDT is a beautifully constructed tune that could be played at a QUALITY alternative station, if one exists, and features a la-la-la (literally) chorus that is guaranteed to get stuck in your head for days.CLOWNHEAD features an opening guitar riff so greasy, it should just slide out of your speakers and fall on the floor. This is one of those albums that will grow on you. All killer, no filler. Melody after melody will start to tattoo themselves to your brain. You will hear new things with every listen...slithering violin parts, multiple time signatures played simultaneously a la Zappa, nuances and interactions between musicians who favor integrity over commercialism, even some goofy lyrics and a CD cover featuring a previously unpublished piece of art by the brothers Hildebrandt. This is 55 minutes of pure fun!

And now for the bad news... unfortunately, you can't just walk into any record store and find THE AMERICAN STANDARD. Your best bet is to go to dreadnaughtrock.com, redfezrecords.com, ZNRcds.com or cdbaby.com to get a hold of this state-of-the-art 21st Century Schizoid band. Just do it! You will NOT be disappointed!

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