I've said it many times in my life and I will continue saying it for as long as I can; dredg is my favorite non metal band of all time. Sure, their can be some heavier tinges to their style (their early day promos giving off major Deftones and Sepultura vibes) but the band is known for their Art Rock, Prog and Pop elements. All the way back from my Mike Portnoy Forum days, a good friend I made from the forum; Angra1, introduced me to the band and once I finally pulled the trigger on seeing the band, I was floored. Every time, minus one, I got the setlist from the show and some autographs and actually hang out with members me. Actually bassist, Drew Roulette, knows me as the guy who wore an Iced Earth shirt to their show as I had just saw Iced Earth a couple days prior to my first dredg show. they are a fun, quirky, and astonishingly breathtaking band that deserves your attention. While the band just has 5 albums so far, and their latest album was 9 freaking years ago; the band is hoping to rectify that soon with a 2020/2021 release) till then, it's about time you got caught up to speed with the bad. Here is my personal ranking of the band's LPs in descending order.
1.) No EPs, cover albums, live albums, b-side albums, or best of/greatest hits collections. Just original studio LPs. Albums that have a cover or two on it are just fine.
2.) This is just my opinions on the albums in question. No outside influences other than my own and is far from a definitive world ranking. If you have a different ranking, AWESOME! Keep that up!
3.) The reason for doing this to help people get into a band/artist/etc and give ideas of what to expect if they decide to dive into the work.
4.) This is ranked from least favorite to favorite (countdown/TRL style). I will give a few words about every album as we go down the list.
5.) There will be a spotify playlist (where applicable) to go along with the list with a song off each album so you can get another idea of what to expect. The songs will either be my favorite song off the album or one that represents the album the best in my eyes. (if you are reading this on social media, click the official link to get the playlist)
6.) Have fun and spread the word....SPREAD IT!
5.) Leitmotif (1998)
The band's first LP is a not in any way a shabby album. It's actually a delightful album that showcases where the band would go eventually, but also traces of where the band was before Leitmotif with some heavier moments and particularly on the song Yatahaze, the only use of screams on any dredg LP in a fiery unleashing of lyrics near the end of the track. Basically, If you like the heavier side of the band, or just wanna start from the beginning and work your way forward, Leitmotif is quite possibly the album that may sink you into the band. But prog nerds, don't be scared, the prog, art and experimental moments are here as well and of course is more fleshed out as time rolls on.
4.) Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy (2011)
Boy, oh boy...this sure brought on some controversy didn't it? If you are just hearing about the band for the first time from this list; let me explain. after 3 monumental pieces of progressive rock, hard rock and art rock; dredg decided to take an element of their sound that was always hinted at in their music and make that the focal point of a full album...the electronic sides. Some of the best songs from the band have this element in the songs, but always was sued as a spice, never the main course of the meal. Even hip hop producer, Dan the Automator, produced the album and his influence is on nearly every track. While many fans couldn't have more turned off by this course of action...I actually really enjoy it. *GASP!!!!* Yes, I'm serious. This is not going to be an album everyone enjoys and some people downright hate this album; I find it refreshing and such an easy listen for lonely nights (which I tend to have a lot). the dredg sound is still there and honestly, if the album was presented as dredg + Dan the Automator; I don't think the hate would be as strong. It's a collaboration album and to me at least, it works. If you're not really into prog or hard rock, this might even be the first album you should check out. 9 years have passed, let's be honest, it's a left of center album, but a damn good left of center dredg album.
3.) The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion (2009)
These last three albums can be in any order at any time. They are truly 3 masterpiece albums for 3 different reasons and is arguably one of the strongest 3 album stretches achieved by ANY band (fight me, jerks!) TPTPTD is quite possibly the most straight ahead album in the band's catalog. While there are many quirky moments and quite a number of interludes (not always instrumental interludes mind you), there only enhance the other songs, not hinder the album and nowhere near filler. There are some heavier moments on this album, hard rock moments, one riff that sounds like a complete nod to CKY, and some of the most inspirational lyrics you'll hear in a non religious context (seriously, the band is atheist). If you want that closer to modern hard rock of around a decade ago sound, this should be the album you hear first.
2.) El Cielo (2002)
The band's 2nd concept album and to many fans (even myself depending on the day) is the band's finest work. It is a concept album about sleep paralysis and the lucid dreaming that can come from it. the songs much the the album we just talked about, does have some interludes, but they are short, sweet, and fill out the concept of the album perfectly. Apparently, if you sync this album up Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind, it syncs up nearly perfectly ala Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz or 2112 and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (I should try that with all 3 some time). But case in point, if you want to know that dredg is all about, this is THE album...
1.) Catch Without Arms (2005)
...on the other hand; if you want the best SONGS the band has done to this date, this is the album you MUST check out first. Produced by the band and legendary producer, Terry Date; PLUS ex Queensryche guitarist, Chris DeGarmo, helped out on arranging the songs and album. This lead to the band at their most song orientated. No interludes (though short bursts of sound effects and quirky moments at the end of some songs). This, more often than not, is the album I go back to more than any other as it is just that kind of album that feels like a full on sonic concept, but really, it's just an absolutely solid album from start to finish that just feels right every time you put it on. This is also the album that got the band a lot of mainstream attention with the single Bug Eyes, they even got to play on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and got to be apart of the Taste of Chaos tour that happened not long after. This is the album that really shows the other side of what the band is all about.
And there you go folks; all 5 dredg albums to date, ranked from 5 to 1. Like I said, I love this band to death and they are one of the most underrated and underappreciated bands around. When they come back, give their new album the love that it will deserve and thanks again for checking this out. And be sure to check out the Spotify playlist to check a song off each album in descending order to help you get into the band.
Till next week, this is That Drummer Guy saying, SEE YA!
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)