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Dredg - Chuckles And Mr. Squeezy CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

2.18 | 67 ratings

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5 stars I do not hand out 5-star reviews lightly and without consideration. But Imperfecta's first review for this site had to be this album, partly because how much I adore it is in stark relief to how maligned it is. I love it, and most everyone else hates it. So be it.

I love that Dredg have upset so many people with 'Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy.' I love that, and I love this album.

I've been a Dredg fan for a while now, and while I don't think they'll ever do anything better than this album's predecessor, 'The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion,' coming off that album in anticipation of the next one, I felt much like the band itself did about album #5: the time was ripe to try something radically DIFFERENT.

Why not, right?

There will never be another opener as affecting and moving as "Ode to the Sun," from the band's third album, 'Catch Without Arms'...but "Another Tribe" is very much this album's "Ode...," if you get what I mean. It catches the attention immediately, holds your attention, and lays down the gauntlet for what this album is all about.

Yes, the band have put so many artificial/electronic treatments on their respective organic instruments that this album sounds quite foreign from any Dredg you've heard before. But I remember seeing this stuff live and "getting" it, even though I was already well into the album. Then with further listens, and more listens, and further listens, suddenly I was able to hear the natural instruments through the electronic haze, in their more organic state. Things like "The Tent," "Sun Goes Down," and "The Thought of Losing You" peeling off their layers and revealing themselves. And what they revealed where this: great songs, written by songwriters who are the best at their craft.

Speaking of the "The Tent," I'll call it the most cinematic piece of aural art to emerge since, well, since at least Radiohead's "Exit Music (For a Film)." The imagery it evokes is absolutely haunting.

First-time listens help a bare, acoustic track "Kalathat" stand out prominently, and this album definitely ends a little lopsided with the waltz-y "Where I'll End Up" and spaghetti western vibe of "Before it Began" throwing you into more new places than the end of any album should do. But that's Dredg for you...ever off-kilter, ever unpredictable, and still absolutely 100% GREAT. This will probably be one of those albums, like Voivod's 'Angel Rat' or Yes's 'Drama,' where people go "Oh, I get it now...I love it now" years and years after its release. It will endure.

Imperfecta | 5/5 |


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