A quasi/inadequate review of Dreadnaught, “Gettin’ Tight with Dreadnaught” (RedFez Records, 2015).
Birzer rating: Perfect.
For quite a while, I have had the privilege of listening to the New England band, Dreadnought. An imposing name for imposing music. To paraphrase one of my favorite movies, Spinal Tap, “it could get nun more prog.” Imagine Phish after each member of the band downed seven Red Bulls. Or, King Crimson, but more intense. Or, Dream Theater, though with more fusion and jazz. Then, add them all together, hit turbo, and you might come close to the beauty that is Dreadnaught, but probably not.
I was thrilled when I opened the mail this afternoon to find a demo copy of Dreadnaught’s new EP, “Gettin’ Tight With Dreadnaught.” True to form, the packaging is quintessential Dreadnaught. A cool car in the desert, with a couple trying to sleep (camp?) on top of it. The photo comes from sometime in the early 70s, and the photo has the feel of “antique,” the fading of colors from when we wore burgundy cords with paisley shirts, complete with a rabbit’s foot hanging from a belt loop. Ah, the 70s. . . .
Approaching their 20th anniversary, Dreadnaught is a three-member band.
- Bob Lord, bass
- Richard Habib, drums
- Justin Walton, guitar
Ah, a power trio, you might be thinking? Geddy, Alex, and Neil? Well, yes . . . if Rush played almost nothing but La Villa Strangiato!
Lord, Habib, and Walton are simply stunning. Absolute masters of their instruments as well as their music. Three individuals beautifully becoming one. Though as progressive and as rock as one can imagine, Dreadnaught’s form of the music really comes close to jazz and fusion. This is music at its best. Well, actually, it’s art at its best.
Just a quick look at their resumes reveals how versatile each member of the band is. Bob Lord, especially, has an impressive career. He’s worked with everyone from Pete Townshend to Madeline Albright.
The new EP is everything a lover of prog (and especially Dreadnaught) would expect: expertise and weirdness all beautifully knitted into a whole.
The songs: Nervous Little Dog; The Badger; This Time Next Year; Knife Hits; Barefoot Kicker.
The first two feel like a really incredible version of King Crimson, while track three—This Time Next Year—has a more relaxed (it’s all relative) feel. Knife Hits is experimental (with some killer bass work) before becoming a somewhat normal (country/southern) rock song, and Barefoot Kicker is the longest song, a journey into psychedelic truth.
Honestly, I’m not in any real way doing justice to the intensity and goodness of this music. Trust me—“Gettin’ Tight With Dreadnaught” is a must own.
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