dredg
Catch Without Arms


4.0
excellent

Review

by Greg Wood USER (20 Reviews)
January 25th, 2010 | 16 replies | 3,493 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Creating an album to directly follow El Cielo was always going to be a difficult task for dredg. They decided to take a risk by simplifying and 'commercialising' their sound; the result was Catch Without Arms, an album full of euphoric guitar lines and vocal hooks that provides a great antithesis to the deep, emotionally draining nature of their previous albums. At the same time however, the extreme variation seen on El Cielo and Leitmotif was lost to a certain extent, with a lot of the songs on the album following the same structures and styles which can unfortunately hold the album back from achieving its true potential.

It kicks off with Ode to the Sun, opening with a melodic guitar line that easily could've been ripped straight from a U2 song (in a good way), before the rest of the band comes crashing in while Gavin's vocals soar over the top. Once again Gavin's voice has undergone some changes, he now sounds more powerful and confident, capable of projecting his voice over the instruments with ease. The song drifts through a simple 'verse-chorus-verse' structure, with a quiet bridge and powerful ending. It's the perfect opening track: full of energy, and introduces the band's new sound. The following track, Bug Eyes, keeps up the same style and structure, with an uplifting chorus and catchy opening slide guitar riff. It's also the album's only single, even though any and all of the songs on offer could easily have been singles as well, though this is as much a con as it is a pro.

For me, this is what holds Catch Without Arms back the most: there's little variation regarding song structure, which can make the album rather predictable. Each song follows the same 'intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus-end' structure which can make the album seem repetitive after a while, it also results in some occasionally cheesy and annoying songs. For example, Zebraskin and Spitshine often make me cringe with their over-poppified, irritating melodies and repetitive lyrics. Having said that, there are also some genuinely amazing songs on offer as well.

The aforementioned Ode to the Sun and Bug Eyes are both album highlights, though Jamais Vu, The Tanbark is Hot Lava, Hungover on a Tuesday and the title track are equally as great for different reasons. The Tanbark is Hot Lava and Hungover on a Tuesday are both adrenaline-fuelled, high-energy tracks that showcase the intense musicianship of the band extremely well. In comparison, the title track is rather chilled out but just as exhilarating nonetheless, with its catchy guitar melody and uplifting chorus, only to feature some heavy-ish riffs when the bridge comes about. However, the award for best song on the album goes to Jamais Vu, which manages to balance all the album's pro's into one five minute track. It's euphoric guitar melodies, catchy basslines, powerful drums and soaring vocals epitomise everything great about Catch Without Arms-era dredg, and stands as one of the best songs the band has ever produced.

While not as strong as El Cielo or Leitmotif, Catch Without Arms is still a great album full of brilliant songs. It had the potential to be just as good as it's predecessors but is unfortunately marred by a few mediocre tracks and repetitive song structures. Still, this was the reasonable evolutionary step for dredg to make after El Cielo; what do you do after you make perfection? You make that perfection known to the world, a feat they somewhat achieved with the release of this record. The only thing they could do now was to expand their fanbase by further commercialising and poppifying their sound, a feat they definitely achieved with their next album a few years later.



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user ratings (1042)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
Greggers
January 25th 2010



2375 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just Pariah left and that'll be my dredg discography completed

Nagrarok
January 25th 2010



7946 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Damn, did you have to bump mine down so fast? Nice work though, I'll be the first to pos.

Greggers
January 25th 2010



2375 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sorry mate I didn't see yours until I posted mine, thanks for the pos anyway

Knott-
Emeritus
January 25th 2010



10193 Comments


best dredg albummmm

Greggers
January 25th 2010



2375 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Naw, great album but El Cielo shits all over it

PanasonicYouth
January 25th 2010



7410 Comments


ayyyyyyyyy

BigHans
January 25th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, pos'd. This is their best album IMO.

WatchItExplode
January 25th 2010



3068 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fap fap fap Jamais Vu, fap fap fap The Canyon Behind Her...do not get

good review btw

I love how the bass gets all powerful in the little slide leading into the chorus of the title track

Lelle
January 25th 2010



2146 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No one mentions Sang Real but that's my favourite song on this album

zeppelinUSA
January 25th 2010



299 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

agreed, Sang Real is so haunting

Greggers
January 25th 2010



2375 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I like Sang Real but never thought it was anything special

Lelle
January 25th 2010



2146 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dunno there is something about the harmonies and the piano melody in the background that just strikes a chord with me

Greggers
January 25th 2010



2375 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah each to their own I suppose

BigHans
January 25th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ode to the Sun rules.

Lelle
January 25th 2010



2146 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes

renegadestrings
January 25th 2010



1416 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i completely agree about Sangreal. the first time i heard it, i was walking home in the rain and i was pretty taken by it.
good review though i don't find Zebraskin nearly as annoying as u do. plus the ladies love it



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