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Dredg
Live At The Fillmore
Interscope Records
www.dredg.com


The upbeat pop/rock arrangements of Dredg show reflections of '80s new wavers Breathe, The Smiths, and Wet Wet Wet, with modern vibrations of 2000's Editors, Hundred Year Storm, and Angels And Airwaves. Dredg's 4-shank crew with Gavin Hayes on vocals and guitar, Mark Engles on guitar, Drew Roulette on bass, and Dino Campanella on drums, hail from the San Francisco Bay area. Their recent album, Live At The Filmore, follows their 2005 LP Catch Without Arms. Originally forming in the mid-'90s, Dredg's first album Letimotif did not come out until 2001 with a subsequent CD in 2002 entitled El Cielo.

During this time, Dredg have become known for the intense wriggling of their guitar effects and the twizzling stenciled moves of their sonic textures which denote an Art rock vitreous. Still, their new wave influences are dominant. They make nu wave a genre for the future instead of a fetish from the past. Glisten, shimmer, electrify, twinkle - you name it and Dredg's guitar effects do it, while cosset by myriad synth-rock tones and stout rhythm sections. The glittering keys and ascending guitar phrases on "Bug Eyes" have a smooth melodic rock folding like This Day & Age, while the cruising tempo on "Ode To The Sun" harness squirts of flinching guitar echoes. The riptide of bass grooves on "Same Ol' Road" are heightened by escalating vocal scales and elliptical guitar tones demonstrating a Turn Off The Stars twitter. The pulsating rhythm springs on "New Heart Shadow" are bound to sequined sonic projections. The twisting and entangling guitar vibrations on "Triangle" have a seraphic serenade while "The Tanbark Is Hot Lava" exhibits futuristic sound clusters with a Hundred Year Storm text.

The saxophone processions performed by Dominic Lalli on "Whoa Is Me" and "90 Hour Sleep" are cued up with melodic pop/rock surfs pelted by tingling guitar tacks. The shimmering piano sequences on "Walk In The Park" are adorned with echoing vocals and a glossy guitar staccato, while the dynamics in the movements alternate between plodding sluggishly and shimmying rapidly. The guitar vibrations rattle and perforate the doddering rhythm sections which furrow into deep inclines on "Yatahaze." The vocals remain on an elevated plane above the melodic progressions, holding their own notes while keeping in harmony with the instrument lines' waddling and twitching. The tones are enlivened, moving like shadows guided by a celestial force. There is an earthy and metallic quality in their ethereal shadows, taking on a soft punk rhythm with rinks of gliding guitar effects on "Stone By Stone."

Dredg's Live At The Filmore CD, taped at the Filmore Theatre in San Francisco, showcases the band at their present stage with a pop/rock rostrum that widens nu wave's girth and gives Art rock a melodic sail. Their electro-rock sequences layered with dashing keys and chugging rhythms aren't the first to suffuse such a combination, but their experimental verses are innovative and finely hewed. Dredg brings pop/rock back to the forefront and gives modern melodic rock some new templates that work.

-Susan Frances

Track Listing:
1. The Warbler
2. Bug Eyes
3. Ode To The Sun
4. Same Ol' Road
5. Sanzen
6. New Heart Shadow
7. Triangle
8. The Tanbark Is Hot Lava
9. Not That Simple
10. Whoa Is Me
11. Walk In The Park
12. Of The Room
13. Stone By Stone
14. Catch Without Arms
15. Sang Real
16. The Ornament
17. The Canyon Behind Her
18. Yatahaze
19. 90 Hour Sleep


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