steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
info opinion


"The American Standard" CD

Red Fez Records

Genres: rock, alt. rock

PO Box 774
Somersworth, NH

Sep 16 - 22 2002

To tell the truth, I wasn't expecting much from this album. While the cover art is impressive and everything, the promo sheets that came with the package weren't all that great. However, the band surprised me, as the music contained on this disc is actually very enjoyable. 

Dreadnaught are a guitar-based band that has been doing both instrumental and vocal pieces for years. The American Standard contains thirteen songs, six of which are merely parts of the album's two "movements," "Deus Ex Machina" and "The Pumphaus Suite." While the guitar-heavy tunes may not be to everyone's taste, the band does prove that they are very talented musicians and songwriters, and that their arrangements, influenced by everyone from Frank Zappa to Black Sabbath, are surprisingly tight. "Ballbuster", for example, completely blows you away, rushing forth with spastic guitar riffage and the craziest stop/start drumming this side of the Pacific before switching suddenly in to a calm, strings-y mood.

Meanwhile, "Deus Ex Machina", their 20 minute, four-part movement, explores even more terrain. The first part starts off with a funk-influenced riff and then jumps into a fast-paced, uppity number featuring pop-punk-esque guitars and happy vocals, while still retaining the band's zest for complex rhythms. The second part doodles around a bit with drum loops and synths, and the third has a bit of a metal influence to it. Then, of course, comes the final part, an eight-minute epic that spans the whole spectrum of styles: fast, slow, energetic, laidback, funky, and everything in between.

Dreadnaught are fun because they aren't boring. They're lively, they're entertaining, and instead of playing tiresome, basic pop songs, they just let loose and play some of the most complex, bizarre compositions I've ever heard. While this is nice and everything (their live shows must awesome!), those expecting something that they can hum along to should look away. Otherwise, though, this is a top-notch release.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 55 min 14 sec; 13 tracks; distributed by CD Baby; released 2001]