dredg - El Cielo


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1. Brushstroke: Debtfoabaaposba
*2. Same Ol' Road
*3. Sanzen
4. Brushstroke: New Heart Shadow
*5. Triangle
6. Sorry But It's Over
*7. Convalescent
8. Brushstroke: Walk in the Park
9. Eighteen People Living in Harmony
10. Scissor Lock
11. Brushstroke: (Reprise)
*12. Of the Room
13. Brushstroke: An Elephant in the Delta
*14. It Only Took a Day
*15. Whoa Is Me
16. The Canyon Behind Her
* = choice tracks

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Though most critics dog Dredg for being too adventurous for their own good, the band has a knack for painting some of the most beautiful audible soundscapes most ears will ever have the pleasure of hearing. Sure, at times they dig themselves deeply inside holes of unbridled pretention, but when they're on the mark, their work is truly admirable. With their second full-length for Interscope, Dredg have built immensly upon the sound they originally introduced with 1999's Leitmotif -- the songs are grander, containing much more depth and instrumentation -- but they truly shine when they're actually nothing more than an intensely creative hard rock band, simply indulging in a powerful hard rock tune ("It Only Took A Day"). Since El Cielo is mostly full songs separated by interludes (as opposed to Leitmotif, where most of the album was just instrumental rock), it tends to lose focus and the listener's full attention, but it's pretty obvious this isn't the type of album that you would want to sit and analyze. It's not like anything you've ever heard before -- or will hear again -- so it's best to just sit there with an open mind and relax. The beauty of "Same Ol' Road" and "Whoa Is Me" is only topped by the amazing hard rocker that is "It Only Took A Day."

(It's unfortunate that Dredg left three out of the four tunes that were on the demo that precluded this CD -- only "Of the Room" made the cut -- because those three songs eclipse some of the best material on this album. Luckily, you can hear those songs in concert, since the band usually will indulge in playing one or two of them.)

Bravo to Dredg for not listening to those who criticized Leitmotif for being a dead end -- if they had, those paying attention to El Cielo might in fact be hearing Liquid Gang with a tropical paradisal twist. This is an album that leaves a definite impression -- and one that will not be exiting anyone's stereo for years to come. Highly recommended.

--Timothy Golden


Last updated: 09/29/2009 09:02PM