Dreadnaught - The American Standard

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Red Fez Records
Catalog Number: FEZ-005
Format: CD
Total Time: 55:14:00

Picture a good ole Southern farmer chewing on a hay straw while driving his tractor across the cornfield, the sun blazing hot above his head and forcing the sweat to gush down his worn overalls. The scenery is serene and even calming, except for one thing: this one farmer has blood in his eyes. Gone schizophrenically psychotic after his Yankee cousin played him some King Crimson record, this boy is the result of a rockabilly and harsh progressive rock hybrid gone wrong, and gone wrong for good. Square dancing may not be completely out of his head, but it certainly has taken a back seat to precise and demolishing riffs of distortion, careful instrumental complementation, and frenetic rates of change... oh yeah, this particular tractor believes it's a Corvette, just in case you were wondering.

The soundtrack for the bizarre and perhaps a tad ludicrous analogy thus just exposed? Dreadnaught's The American Standard. Scorching its way across the cornfields of America, and more than just that, this band has ventured into territories that would have scared the KGB itself, and baptized them under a name that could not be more appropriate: progabilly. Alright, perhaps I should have told you to sit down and take a swig of whisky first, but it's really not what you think at all. This isn't even remotely laughable, and it doesn't just work; it possesses the listener with its decisive attitude and schizophrenic character, whether one is exposed to the grinding madness of "Ballbuster," the quick farm fun of "Popeye," or the cool grooves and killer solo action of "Welding."

Perhaps one of the most endearing traits of this formidable act is the fact that one is often tempted to believe that the rockabilly element is nothing more than a quirky prog marketing scheme intended to divert attention from the competition, and then, boom! It's there again, mutated into some eccentric work that seems as if taken right out of a banjo and electrified into a musical behemoth with an attitude problem. Truth be told, Robert M. Lord, Justin S. Walton, and Richard R. Habib seem to enjoy a certain activity in particular, and that is teaching their listeners to expect the unexpected. Used to harshness? They have gentility, although not that much, just in store for you. Accustomed to the relatively traditional rock sound? Industrial overtones are just around the corner. Stone cold in the face of surprise? Well, you're not gonna last long, buddy boy...get ready to scratch your head in disbelief soon.

Because this is hands down one of the best young bands to boldly come out with a firm intention of driving its stake further into the heart of the much feared prog cliché. Dreadnaught commands the very elemental forces of music and manipulates them into an uncompromising tour de force that robs the listener of one's breath for almost an entire hour, makes sure that the brain is imprinted with heavy tractor tracks, and hardly apologizes for the mayhem at the end. One will laugh, cry, dance, and start vibrating in ways previously unknown by science, accompanied by bulging bloodshot eyes, and almost coming off as the symptoms of nothing other than spontaneous combustion...and that's just the first track. You'll be up in flames by the time you reach half of the record.

Similar Artists: Frank Zappa, King Crimson

Ballbuster (4:28) / Deus Ex Machina (20:30) / Popeye (2:25) / B?nnaschidt (4:50) / James Thresher Industries (0:57) / Welding (4:51) / Kim Philby (3:33) / The Pumpha?s Suite (8:13) / Clownhead (5:25)

Robert M. Lord - bass, synthesizer, organ, kazoo, background vocals
Richard R. Habib - drums, percussion, vocals
Justin S. Walton - electric and acoustic guitars, piano, saxophone, organ, kazoo, vocals
Shaun Frenchie Michaud - drums loops and synthesizer (3)
Andy Happel - violins (1,5,9,11, 13) and organ (4)
William L. Walton II - French horn (7)
Jay Williams - euphonium (7)
Daria J. Blake - flute (13)

Dreadnaught (1998)
Una Vez Mas (2000)
The American Standard (2001)
Musica En Flagrante (2004)
Live At Mojo (2005)
High Heat And Chin Music (2007)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: May 18th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website: www.dreadnaughtrock.com
Hits: 957
Language: english


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