dredg
Chuckles & Mr. Squeezy


2.0
poor

Review

by Dan H. CONTRIBUTOR (52 Reviews)
May 29th, 2012 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Upon returning, Dredg release an underwhelming album.

Context can be a dangerous thing. It can easily be twisted and manipulated allowing things to appear more epic or downright awful than they really are or were. Remember that perfect day you had? You know; the one where you first got laid for the first time. On that walk home you felt 10 feet tall, with every passerby nodding and smiling in approval, and every bird chirping in delight at your achievement. In reality, passersby’s were probably laughing at that stain on your trouser leg, and the birds would have defecated in the hood of your jacket without a seconds thought.

However, El Cielo was, and is, brilliant. No amount of contortion will allow the memory of Dredg’s masterpiece to seem more perfect than it was. Taken in the context of previous successes, Dredg’s newest effort ‘Chuckles & Mr. Squeezy’ has a lot to live up to in order to earn its place on the shelf next to the rest of their efforts. I think it’s safe to assume that nobody wants to instantly hate an album from a band they like, but with ‘Chuckles & Mr. Squeezy’, Dredg don’t get things off on the right foot. An appalling album title and equally disconcerting accompanying artwork is a far cry from the thought provoking ambiguity their previous releases held, and immediately a nagging doubt reluctantly forms as to the quality of the album’s contents.

Stepping up their pop sensibilities, ‘Upon Returning’ and ‘The Thought of Losing You’ both hit the mark with catchy riffs and all too memorable choruses. The former sports a crunchy, abrasive riff with haunting vocals from Gavin Hayes, whilst the latter has an optimistic, bouncy feel, encouraging the listener to sing along with both the bridge and chorus being repetitive yet effective. ‘The Tent’ is downbeat and saunters rather than strides, but succeeds in serving as more than filler, thanks to the melancholic, almost menacing feel conveyed by Hayes and co. Standout track, ‘The Ornament’, is pure Dredg. Slowly building to a heartfelt chorus, relaxed piano and light cymbal work combine to great effect; producing the only truly moving moment on the album.

However, with some of the tracks, it’s easy to feel like Dredg should simply have known better. ‘Down Without a Fight’ heavily relies on electronics and feels like comfort zones have been pushed and broken, rather than feeling like an experimental success. ‘Where I’ll End Up’ is relaxed to the point of lethargy, as it fails to build or evolve in its 4 minute existence. Feeling dangerously cheesy and barely engaging, it passes the listener by, leaving them at best indifferent, and at worst plain bored.

Instantly noticeable, is the alarming absence of drummer Dino Campanella. One listen to ‘The Canyon Behind Her’ reminds you of the talent this man possesses behind a drum kit. His fills and ingenuity are sorely missed on ‘Chuckles & Mr. Squeezy’, with the majority of the tracks practically screaming out for him to take the reins and elevate them from average to adept. Never getting out of first gear, you can’t help but feel his scant presence on this album is a contributing factor to its mediocrity.

For the most part, Dredg disappoint and underachieve on ‘Chuckles & Mr. Squeezy’. Although some tracks succeed in their quest to be poppy sing-along’s, others feel languid, cheesy, and contrived. With such a strong catalogue, it can only be hoped that this is a minor blip and that greater things are indeed to come, although it seems increasingly unlikely it will be in the progressive mould of Leitmotif or El Cielo. Perhaps Dredg left the studio feeling like they had just accomplished something truly epic, when really they’ve left with a noticeable stain, albeit on their discography instead of their leg.



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user ratings (443)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
minty901
May 29th 2012


1999 Comments


never heard el cielo, but i can't imagine how a band can go from being so loved to so... awful

ashcrash9
May 29th 2012


388 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Good review, pos'd.

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
May 29th 2012


969 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Minty - Style change and drop in quality combined, I'd say.

Ash - Thanks, appreciated.

benkim
May 29th 2012


2104 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

What on earth were this guys thinking about when making this? This is was shocking.

fuckthatnoise
May 29th 2012


1479 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

inoryt?

Irving
Staff Reviewer
May 29th 2012


7267 Comments


Isn't this the album whose title Sowing Season described as more befitting of names for a young girl's breasts?

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

Lelle
May 29th 2012


2156 Comments


I don't dare listen to this, I fear it will taint my liking of their earlier albums

Scoot
May 29th 2012


17749 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

awful

Lought
May 29th 2012


87 Comments


this is one of them albums it sucks ya know

im not dont thsi band, it sucks and this album dos too.



listen to real music

Lelle
May 29th 2012


2156 Comments


what

Xenophanes
Emeritus
May 29th 2012


10593 Comments


I remember how pissed sputnik was about this. Band has always been pretty good, but El Cielo is the most overrated album on this site which says a whole lot.

Tyrael
May 29th 2012


20876 Comments


'El Cielo is the most overrated album on this site which says a whole lot.'

jane motherfucking doe

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

Xenophanes
Emeritus
May 29th 2012


10593 Comments


Jane Doe is underrated if anything

Tyrael
May 29th 2012


20876 Comments


you spelled You Fail Me wrong but I'll let it slide for this one time

Xenophanes
Emeritus
May 29th 2012


10593 Comments


looooool.....In all seriousness that is their most underrated album, but it has a 3.9 and most people love it so I won't complain.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
May 29th 2012


10192 Comments


"im not dont thsi band, it sucks and this album dos too. " [393979]

Fantastic review though, pos.

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

sixdegrees
May 29th 2012


17047 Comments


lol, does anyone actually like this album?

Digging: Foreground Eclipse - Stories That Last Through The Sleepless Nights

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
May 29th 2012


969 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Cheers Omaha.

Sixdegrees - Very few people it seems. I'll be surprised if they don't revert to a CWA style for their next album.

Lelle
May 29th 2012


2156 Comments


honestly I don't think this band knows what made their earliest releases so good or how to channel that again, if you look at their album ratings they've always been getting lower with each album

YoYoMancuso
May 29th 2012


11080 Comments


yeah but they were still good until this piece of crap



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