Category Archives: Soundcheck

Soundchecking Dredg

On the latest Schallgrenzen-Soundcheck, Dredg‘s new album The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion was up for reviews. Here are my thoughts:

One thing before I start: all those fans eagerly expecting a new Leitmotif can now turn away and keep their “Mainstream and Commercialization”-Boo-Hoos for themselves. Because since Catch Without Arms everyone should have figured out that Dredg is more than just an experimental ArtProg-Band for Brainiacs. PPD is a perfect symbiosis of Dredg‘s former works. True, the songs are partly very Pop-influenced, but those sly foxes wrap up their sounds so skillful that you just can’t categorize them as your average popsong-fare. I mean… what other band manages to deliver a song like Mourning This Mourning with its slow beat and 70ies-Glam-Disco-Strings (I’m reminded of Fly Robin Fly every time!) so effortlessly cool and laid-back? And Information – labeled by many critics as their weakest song yet – is in my ears just a grand hymn to bow down before. I really can’t find anything bad on PPD; the album has a great flow which is not at least thanks to those short and well-crafted intermezzos; no fillers, but a perfect addition.

I assume that this album will keep on turning here for a good few months to come, and a spot in the year-end-Top-10 is almost already written in stone. To bring this baby home: with all due respect to Leitmotif and El Cielo, but Dredg are simply more than that. And that is definitely a good thing!

Check The Sound

Schallgrenzen-Peter has a new department on his blog called Soundcheck, and I’m playing a part in it. Soundcheck is basically a gathering of bloggers who write down their thoughts on an album, and the first chapter of what hopefully will be an ongoing series has just been released. Since Peter‘s blog is written in German, Soundcheck is also kept in this language. But whenever I’m writing a post for it, I will translate my part here for you. So here’s what I think about Archive‘s latest, Controlling Crowds:

Following the rather boring Lights and an equally narcotic accoustic-tour, I very much tuned down my expectations on a new Archive album. But then: the first single Bullets made me listen up again. And also the rest of Controlling Crowds manages to convince me in large parts… if it just wasn’t for those really crappy Rap-parts! They just stop the flow of the album and inevitably make my fingers move over to the skip-button. Without these three rap-infected songs, the album’s length would be a good hour, and that would be more than enough; Controlling Crowds is just a tad too long. But apart from that, Archive have done the right thing; orientating towards their older works was a good decision, and the mix of Trip-Hop-Elements and spherical soundscapes is well-balanced. And with Collapse/Collide, there’s finally another gem that instantly puts itself in the Archive-Instant-classic-list. A new Again this is not yet, but they’re on the right track. There’s finally a light again at the end of the Archive-tunnel!