Dredg

The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion

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In just four albums, California's Dredg have run the gamut from atonal, angular alternative metal outfit to epic, unpredictable progressive rockers with one foot in "loud/quiet/loud" world of emo and the other in genre-defying abyss of art rock. Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion represents the best of both worlds, employing top-notch musicianship, meticulous production, and memorable melodies atop an ambitious narrative culled from (in part) a Salman Rushdie essay called "Imagine There's No Heaven: A Letter to the 6 Billionth Citizen." While weeding through the wreckage of science, sociology, and religion for the quivering individual may seem like heavily guarded Radiohead territory, Dredg pulls it off with the human heart still intact. At 18 tracks, it can be a lot to swallow, but keep in mind that many of these are transitional pieces and rarely overstay their welcome. Obvious singles like "I Don't Know," "Saviour," and "Pariah" may be "modern rock" radio-ready, but they're "mathy" enough for the tech-loving music geeks, highbrow enough for the progressive rock elitists, and emotional enough for bike riding indie rockers.

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