Skip to main content

Dreadnaught, USA


Website
Samples
Facebook

First published on June 18, 2014 and brought forward with their new EP Gettin' Tight With Dreadnaught.

The band  is still active as of August, 2016,and promise a new album soon.

Dreadnaught - s/t. 1998 private (CD)
Dreadnaught - Une Vez Mas. 2000 Red Fez (CD)
Dreadnaught - The American Standard. 2001 Red Fez (CD); 2006 MALS (Russia CD)
Dreadnaught - Musica en Flagrante. 2004 Big Balloon (CD); 2004 Quixote (Germany CD); 2006 MALS (Russia CD)
Dreadnaught - Live at Mojo. 2005 Comet (Italy 2CD)
Dreadnaught - Have a Drink With Dreadnaught (EP). 2013 Red Fez (CD)
Dreadnaught - Gettin' Tight With Dreadnaught (EP). 2015 Red Fez (CD)

I recently heard from Dreadnaught drummer Rick Habib, and he was kind enough to send me two titles. Like with Woodenhead, Dreadnaught were one of many bands that slipped past me real time. I do recall reading reviews of the band back then, but just didn't have the opportunity to hear their material, given other priorities at the time. As stated before, that's reason enough to have a blog like Under the Radar. It keeps me focused on discovering artifacts from the past.

The band describes themselves as thus: "Over the course of over 17 years, half a dozen albums, and more metric shifts than you can shake a stick at, the ever-evolving DREADNAUGHT has carved out a musical niche unlike any other. This is because, very simply, we're totally and utterly deranged."

LOL. Well, it's probably not far from the truth - at least from a musical perspective.

----The American Standard 

If there's one persistent theme among the albums I've heard by Dreadnaught, it's that they have a strain of Americana in them. The type of Appalachia based music one might find in Central Pennsylvania or West Virginia*. I hear elements of a contemporary fusion band such as Boud Deun, as well as historical early 70s groups from the region like Bucknell University's own Fred. On The American Standard, there's also a distinct modern Crimson influence, with its angular melodies, and dark textures.  The tag one reviewer applied to Dreadnaught - "King Crimson at a Hoedown" - is most apt for this album. A very interesting direction to take for a band from New Hampshire.

----Have a Drink With Dreadnaught

After 8 years of non recorded activity, Dreadnaught come back with a new EP, that shows no signs of cobwebs. For Have a Drink With Dreadnaught the group has shed the colder Crimson tones, and have added a good dose of West Coast psychedelia. This music comes across more natural to their Americana tendencies. The melodies are more thought out, and the jams flow more freely. The Grateful Dead, or perhaps even Phish, no doubt should be part of the conversation when discussing this album. I also appreciate the retro early 60s album title.

Like their idols Frank Zappa, Dreadnaught have worked hard to avoid categorization. As such, it will be difficult for a potential fan to enjoy everything the band releases - though no one should question the musicianship, hard work, and quality of the material therein.

* - I've read a few reviews where they refer to this as "Southern". That's a different concept altogether, and far more common to hear. The American roots music that Dreadnaught have focused on is a different strain, and rarely heard in progressive rock.

----Gettin' Tight With Dreadnaught

We're back with  Dreadnaught's second EP in 3 years, both of which I understand are leading up to their next full length Hard Chargin'.

With CD in hand, I see they have maintained the early 60s retro jazz theme in regards to the cover and album title, a nice little detail that I appreciate anyway. The always deprecating and humorous Dreadnaught tells us "...we're 19 years in and think we're making the best music of our career. Of course, we could be completely off base about that". LOL. And in their bio section we get this gem "Two-thirds of the band definitely have Italian blood". I love irreverence.

Jokes aside, Dreadnaught means business once the tape starts rolling. Blasting out of the gates with Nervous Little Dogs, Dreadnaught come out fighting with fuzz bass, heavy guitar, and roaring rhythms. I haven't heard this kind of fury since the glory days of Nucleus era Anekdoten. The Badger opens in faux disco mode, and shifts gears quickly to a Canterbury like sound. A type of music that fits Dreadnaught like hand in glove, and a sound I would like to hear the band explore further. Knife Hits is a nice bit of instrumental post rock, with some Kong-like heaviness mixed in. Barefoot Kicker is the closest thing to what one could call prototypical Dreadnaught (is that even possible?), with a hint of Americana, rural rock, and complex progressive rock. Excellent use of keyboards and violin on this one too! The odd track out is This Time Next Year which brought to mind The Steve Miller Band, but does fit their oeuvre quite well actually.

Count me in as someone looking forward to the new Hard Chargin' album!

Last update: August 20, 2016

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ramp / ['ramp], Germany

News: We have news straight from Stephen Parsick (see comments). I will just paste it in here with embedded links. Thanks for kindly mentioning ['ramp]'s work here -- I'd like to point out, though, that ['ramp] celebrated the 20th anniversary of their very first live concert last year by releasing "synchronize or die" on CD "SoD" will be followed by a release on 2x12 in February 2018 (check Adasonia Records).['ramp]'s latest release "no sleep 'til wilmersdorf" is due for release in May 2018. Both albums are firmly rooted in Berlin School territory (or Bielefeld School, as I like to call it). (ed: LOL)

Website Samples
Location: Bielefeld, Nordrhein-Westfalen

Overview: Ramp started out as pure play Berlin School electronic band, and one of the best at that. They later moved to a style they referred to as "doombient" (which apparently they have trademarked). I haven't heard these myself, but as you see in the comments,…

The ongoing HiPo list

Read about this the purpose and idea of this thread at the bottom of this post. Feel free to opine on any of these albums as you wish.

Just Added!

Dai Kaht (Finland)

Mouth - Vortex (Germany)

Prior entries that have yet to be purchased or heard
Consorzio Acqua Potabile - Coraggio e Mistero (Italy) New album with Alvaro Fella (Jumbo!) on vocals. Considering this HiPo because of the Fella presence

Cosmic Triggers (Russia)

Fatal Fusion (Norway)

Il Fauno di Marmo (Italy)

Jordsjo (Norway) OK - just a quick update that Jordsjo will have a CD out in the fall. Yaay! (eventually)

Karakorum (Germany)

Kungens Män (Sweden) This band many releases already, and 5 are durable mediums. Looks like a group to check out at least one of.

Merry Go Round (Italy)

Mythic Sunship (Denmark)

Professor Tiptop (Norway)

Weserbergland (Norway)

The Winstons (Italy)

Witchwood  (Italy)

Wucan (Germany)

Prior entries that have been heard 
Avatarium - The Girl With the Raven Mask (Sweden) This worked out and a review was put u…

Vespero, Russia

News: Addendum and good news at that - Now on CD! Vespero has just announced their latest studio album Shum-SHIR, which will be out November 17th. That's the good news. The OK news is that it will be LP only (on Tonzonen). I'm not so keen on this trend myself. I love LPs - but from another era. Oh well I'll probably get it anyway, since I'm such a huge fan of the band. Band says: "Shum-Shir' is second part of 'Abyssinian Tales' (first -'Lique Mekwas' was released as CD on R.A.I.G. In 2016). Fully instrumental psyche-kraut-rock with ethno influences. Mastered by Eroc."
Website Samples Facebook
Location: Astrakhan

Overview: Vespero are a space rock band from Astrakhan, a city on the northern shore of the Caspian Sea in Southern Russia, near the border of Kazakhstan. So, in effect, miles from anything familiar. And yet there are few bands today - or perhaps none - that have captured the European spirit of space rock, Krautrock, and progressive r…

Kenso, Japan

Website
Facebook

No new updates from Kenso since 2015.

Kenso - s/t. 1980 Pam (LP); 1995 Arcangelo (CD)
Kenso - II. 1982 Pam (LP); 1993 King (CD); 2002 Pathograph (CD papersleeve)
Kenso - s/t (aka III). 1985 Nexus (LP; CD); 2011 King (CD papersleeve)
Kenso - Sparta. 1989 Crime (CD); 2009 Pathograph as Sparta Naked (CD)
Kenso - Yume No Oka. 1991 King; 2011 Pathograph (CD papersleeve)
Kenso - Esoptron. 1999 King (CD); 1999 Musea (France CD)
Kenso - Ken-Son-Gu-Su. 2000 Pathograph (CD)
Kenso - Fabulis Mirabilibus De Bombycosi Scriptis. 2002 Nexus (CD); 2002 Vinyl Magic (Italy CD)
Kenso - Utsuroi Yuku Mono. 2006 King (CD)
Kenso - Uchi Naru Koe Ni Kaikiseyo. 2014 King (CD)

There are many other live and archival releases from the band, though I only own Ken-Son-Gu-Su. All the other entries above represent their studio albums. There's also a 14 CD box set on King that contains all their studio albums through 2012, as well as a handful of live recordings.

For a band with so many recordings, an…

Henry Fool, England

Website
Samples
Facebook

Henry Fool - s/t. 2001 Cyclops; 2013 KScope
Henry Fool - Men Singing. 2013 KScope (CD; LP)

The band's last activity was in 2014, which seems to be their pattern I'm afraid.

----Henry Fool

I suppose a Porcupine Tree comparison is unavoidable on Henry Fool's debut album. Especially considering the vocal tracks. That is to say, the more melancholic efforts from Porcupine Tree replete with mellotron. The instrumental parts range from lounge jazz to pure psychedelic bliss - and all points between. Radical in its own way - though not necessarily ground breaking. It's not until track 4 that vocals are even heard. There are 16 tracks in all. This is the same spirit that classic progressive rock had in the 1970's - making music just to make music. No end purpose in sight. Exciting concept if you think about it... 

----long interlude

I didn't think we'd hear from this band again.... BUT I was wrong.... as is often the case. Fortunately....

-…

Quaterna Requiem, Brazil

News: Quaterna Réquiem are very active on the live front in their home country of Brazil. No word on a new album though.

Facebook Samples
Location: Rio de Janeiro

Overview: Quaterna Réquiem were one of the first bands of the late 1980s/early 90s progressive rock renaissance to review the works of the Mediterranean bands such as Quella Vecchia Locanda and Gotic, rather than the standard English "Big 3" of Genesis, Yes, and ELP.

UMR notes

Happy Family, Japan

Facebook
Samples

Happy Family - s/t. 1995 Cuneiform (USA)
Happy Family - Toscco. 1997 Cuneiform (USA); 1997 Arcangelo
Happy Family - Minimal Gods. 2014 Cuneiform (USA)

---

Perhaps no band arrived with such an in-your-face sound as Happy Family did in 1995. Their fabled live shows were popular amongst the tape trading crowd of the early 1990s. So there was quite a bit of buzz on what their first CD would sound like. The band insisted their albums come out on the preeminent Avant Prog label Cuneiform, and were willing to wait until that label had room on their release schedule. By 1995, anticipation was high, and Happy Family not only delivered, but exceeded, most everyone's expectation.

Consider the first track 'Rock & Young'. Hard to imagine anyone delivering such a strong overpowering opening punch as Happy Family did here. If this track doesn't move your heart rate up a few beats, you're probably dead already, and no one told you (did Aunt Sally for…

Taipuva Luotisuora, Finland

News: Taipuva Luotisuora have returned in 2017, after a two year break, playing live concerts well into the summer. No word yet on a new album.

Facebook Website Samples
Location: Turku

Overview: Taipuva Luotisuora started as an Ozric like band before incorporating post rock and space rock elements in their sound.

UMR notes

Scherzoo, France

News: According to a September post on Facebook: "Scherzoo was in the studio in August to record the eight titles of their 4th album, and everything went great! The album is currently in the mix."  I never did hear the 3rd album, being somewhat spooked by the second one. Certainly a band I continue to follow however and welcome any chance I can to hear them.

Website Facebook Samples 
Location:  Lyon

Overview: Scherzoo's sound is somewhere between avant prog and Zeuhl, whereas Thollot's solo works scratch the avant angle and add in some Heldon like electronic rock.

UMR notes

Elephant9, Norway

News: Elephant9 are set to release their 5th album (on Feb 16) entitled Greatest Show on Earth (who remembers that fine early 70s UK band?). Label says: "On this, their fifth studio album, they are back to the core trio of their two first albums, with Ståle Storløkken (keyboards), Nikolai Hængsle (bass) and Torstein Lofthus (drums). "The Greatest Show On Earth" displays some truly astonishing playing and is a more dynamic, structured and focused album with all tracks clocking in between five and seven minutes." Hmmm, not liking that guitarist Fiske is not around anymore, but OK, let's see what they come up with.

Facebook Samples
Location: Oslo

Overview: If you like overdriven Hammond organ and Rhodes piano - completely fuzzed out to the maximum - all immersed within interesting instrumental compositions, then Elephant9 are for you. Their last 2 albums feature former Landberk / current Dungen's guitarist Reine Fiske, and have started to move into a 1970 era …