steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"El Cielo" CD

Interscope Records

Genres: alternative rock, metal, alternative metal

2220 Colorado Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Mar 17 - 23 2003

As far as guilty pleasures go, you can't really go wrong with Dredg.  Not only are they reasonably obscure, but their music is really easy to like.  And while sometimes they sound like they're taking themselves a bit too seriously - and occasionally they become a bit too mainstream-y for comfort - it's still pretty darn fun to just lie back, listen, and (why not?) sing along.

Dredg have an interesting style.  Kind of like a mixture of metal and alternative rock, the band rely strongly on guitars and those spacey, passionate vocals that characterize emotional alt rock tunes.  They have a very melodic style, working their way around wonderful riffs and infectious hooks as if it were a second language to them.  But that's not all.  Beyond their alternative metal learnings, they also take influences from all corners of the musical planet.

For example, songs like "Triangle" and "Sorry But It's Over" boast definite progressive rock tendencies, whereas other tracks run the gamut from being positively spooky ("Scissor Lock") to positively exotic (the ethnic chants of "Brushstroke: An Elephant in the Delta Waves")".  Other tunes, like "Same Ol' Road" and "Convalescent," are just so catchy that they stay in your head for weeks.  And I mustn't neglect to mention that the band have incorporated a number of little interludes (or "'Brushstrokes," as they call them), which are short little pieces played on instruments like the piano, the violin, and the cello.

Altogether, Dredg's El Cielo is definitely worth a shot.  Pick a copy up the next time you're in a record store, give "Eighteen People Living in Harmony" a listen, and see if you can resist the band's allure.  Yeah, didn't think so.


Fun Fact: "El cielo" means "the sky".  Except in Spanish.  But you knew that already, didn't you?

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 songs, distributed by the label, released 2002]