Music Reviews
The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion

Dredg The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion

(Ohlone Recordings ) Buy it from Insound Rating - 6/10

In music, there's something to be said for ambitious concept albums, even if they don't turn out quite like their masterminds had hoped. The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion is one such example: much, much more than some experimental outing, Dredg's fourth full-length album is cut into varied pieces like some overwrought mosaic, at times both exultant and dragging. In short, it's a rather thick undertaking that could use a pruning or two, its triumphs constantly tampered by random flourishes seemingly added in for little else than their off-putting aura.

Luckily, Dredg is led nobly by the pure-voiced Gavin Hayes, whose strong vocals are always tinged with a longing melancholy. The California quartet's inherent catchiness and pseudo-philosophical lyricizing is no more special than, say, Minus the Bear's, but manages to exceed the sum of its parts thanks to Hayes' inherent strength as narrator, his voice an admirable boon to their every cause.

As demonstrated here and on 2005's Catch Without Arms, Dredg's raison d’être is carrying the 90's art-rock torch, their work sandwiched nicely between the Smashing Pumpkins and Foo Fighters on the metaphorical shelf of alternative heavyweights. As such, their music is somewhat lost in time, caught much as the Silversun Pickups are in the previous decade's glory. Still, rarely does hard-edged arena pop come much smarter or self-realized, and but for the strange pathways and sideshows that the band peppers about, the album largely avoids rock pretentiousness. There is an ever-grim soul beneath the facade, and in that familiar dichotomy longtime fans will find solace, with tracks such as Information deftly blending beauty and menace into a poppy punch.

Distractions persist, however, and the album is often weighed down by its see-sawing identity. Packed with filler instrumentals, one-minute notebook entries, and other pretty diversions, The Delusion skips from solid musicianship to amateur experimentation in the blink of an eye. How else to explain the baby brays, machine glitches, and other frick-a-frack of Mourning This Morning? Or, for that matter, the digital lullaby of the Stamp of Origin quartet – four brief songs that act as interludes between the more fleshed-out pieces – that, while pleasant, are not quite as effective or absorbing as Dredg thinks. Songs like these and Long Days and Vague Clues seem more apt for overwrought rock operettas than modern progressive forays, often bordering dangerously on the parodied territory of Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Yet though it often oversteps its own ability a few too many times, The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion is clear in aggression and ambition, rarely annoying listeners with undue hubris. When Dredg finally reaches experimental nirvana with Cartoon Showroom – Hayes' powerful bellows trickling against harpsichord and other plucked atmospherics – listeners will realize what the album is meant to be, but never regularly achieves. In the end, the boys of Dredg deserve admiration for their aims, at least, as they seek to produce austere rock beauty amid the stumbling.

Comments for The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion review

This album is definitely

This album is definitely there best! 10/10!

I'm absolutely sure you

I'm absolutely sure you should be fired.

Yeah, I disagree pretty

Yeah, I disagree pretty strongly with this review...

not sure i understand what

not sure i understand what you are finding that is filler. much of it is to maintain a mood or feeling. i think a few more listens may be what you need.

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Kevin Liedel your a fucking

Kevin Liedel your a fucking idiot. This is the best cd of 2009, your going to go after mourning this morning? that song has a sick groove and is one of the best tracks on the cd. The whole cd is covered in great tracks, did you not hear pariah? light switch? I dont know? Saviour? Ireland? Gathering Pebbles? Did you even listen to the cd more than once? what were you doing when you were listening to the cd, already writing your review because your a fucking genius then tossed the cd aside and turned in some half ass review so you can move on to the next cd? Listen to me, im a music fanatic, i know it all, heard it all, read every review, and i have never read such a lazy half assed retarded review. Im convinced you need to a different job, because reviewing isnt your thing considering how easy it is for you to pass up on such great work, and put a half ass rating on it with a half ass review. Throw in some big words so you sound like you know music and bam, like i said , fucking genius. Here is a genius suggestion though, slow the fuck down, listen to it again, remember if your going to be a music reviewer you need to learn to know what your listening too. I came to this page to read another review on how great this cd is, not to come on and read this pure fucking garbage of a review. God damn you really blew this one, give this cd the same attention you gave the new black eyed peas cd and maybe you might just hear something!

what do you think

hey i agree with your comment here and you're totally right, to fully grasp an album like this or really anything dredg has done you have to really try to absorb it and really listen. i've been listening to dredg for a while now and when this one came out i listened to it constantly. judging by your comment it seems like you did too and you've got a pretty good grasp on it so i was just wondering what you think its about. i kinda have a few ideas but it seems a little deeper than i'm grasping so i was just wondering if you've maybe got some insight.

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Garbage review.

Garbage review.

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I agree

As a long-time fan I couldn't agree more with this review. It's definitely not as engaging as Leitmotif, not as sophisticated as El Cielo and not as catchy as Catch without arms. I was really looking forward to this album but now I am quite disappointed.

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