Review: Dredg – Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy

Rated:

3/5

Bay Area experimental rock quartet Dredg, who once could compete with Chevelle for the best Tool-wannabes on the block, explore a dreamier pop sound on album No. 5. Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy sees the group utilizing danceable rhythms, melodic singing, and plenty of studio effects to create music that is much less guitar-centric, and as a result, much less rock-centric, than Dredg’s previous releases. In fact, some tracks, like “Down Without a Fight,” are built almost solely around synth noises and feature little to no guitar at all, and most of the songs have an atmospheric, rather than aggressive, feel that is complemented well by frontman Gavin Hayes’s croon, although the tracks that rely on dance-y beats quickly becomes repetitive. If old Dredg were like Tool, this is more Puscifer.

The band seems to allude self-deprecatingly to its new sound on the album’s first track “Another Tribe,” as Hayes sings, “Here we go again, following all the trends.” But while Dredg surely mean this jokingly, longtime devotees may not take it so funny, feeling like one of their favorite bands has indeed followed the crowd and drifted far afield from the sound that originally endeared the group with fans. Yet even those who feel that way would be hard pressed to deny that Dredg do pull the new approach off with some real success. DAVID McKENNA


  • jm

    As a fan of both Tool and dredg, being quite possibly my 2 most appreciated groups, I do not understand the “Tool-wannabes” comment. It is unjustified and honestly, just incorrect. I never saw that product as a direction that dredg wanted to seek.

  • Mikecouts

    Tool wannabes? it’s Dredg they sound nothing like tool or Charvelle. Review should do more research. Album is very boring though and I am a huge Dredg fan

  • Trav

    Yeah guys back when dredg first came out everyone had them pegged to be the next Tool. Thats certainly how parts of Leitmotif and El Cielo came across, very much sounding like Tool at times. In fact dredg gained a lot of its initial following from Tool msg boards. Obviously the last 3 albums have shown a drastic departure from that sound but nevertheless the reviewer is correct.

  • Victorious D

    Hah, nice insultingly poor characterization in the first sentence. Alas, I’m not fond of their direction since el cielo either. This latest appears to be the nail in the coffin for me.

  • Slicetwo

    honestly, i’ve loved dredg since leitmotif. this album is complete shite, though. they’ve really dropped the ball. 

  • Slicetwo

    honestly, i’ve loved dredg since leitmotif. this album is complete shite, though. they’ve really dropped the ball. 

  • Fake Name

    I agree with..pretty much everyone here….which song of theirs sounds like Tool?

  • Jeff

    awful review. there has never been a moment throughout everything dredg has released where I thought, “hey….yeah, sounds like Tool”. 

  • NateHChicago

    I’ve listened to every Dredg album possibly at least 100-200 times each, most likely double that for El Cielo. I’ve seen them live every time they’re in town, and even traveled 1000 miles JUST to see THEM on NYE in LA. This album, no exaggeration.. twice. I listened to it once, went, “what the hell?” and put it away. A month later I said, “surely I must have been mistaken, it needed time to grow on me” I put it in the player once more. Sadly, I was not mistaken. I turned it off after about song 6 and shoved it away, hopefully never to hear it again. It sounded as if Gavin wandered in to a hip-hop studio and the producer mistook him for some MC, allowing him to sing over his beats and went, “oh ok, well let’s just roll with that. Should we get lunch?”