Down and dirty and completely rockin'!
Given that Melbourne's (AUS) Dreadnaught hasn't released a full length album since 2000's Down To Zero LP (excluding the 2002 EP One Piece Missing), many were wondering if there ever would be a follow up to the Bruce Dickinson (yes, the one and only) acclaimed effort. Well, it's better late than never huh? Dreadnaught has finally returned. After commencing work on what resulted in their latest album Dirty Music in 2004, drums Aaren “Suds” Sutill announced his departure from the group so that he could focus on Atomizer. Drummer Sandy “Sweaty” Bettenay was recruited as his replacement by vocalst Greg Trull, guitarists Richie Poate and Damon Alcock and bassist Ando McDougall.
Kicking things off with the restrained beginnings of Living A Lie, the catchy rock number quickly gains strength like a tropical low over an ocean as it progresses with Greg Trull's vocals sounding like a cross between AC/DC's Brian Johnson and The Big F's John Crawford. Scenester's subtle verse and pissed off chorus are perfectly reflected in the tone of the music and the lyrics throughout and Broken In Two combines the best elements of the previous two tracks. The up tempo rocker Moneyshot is by far the catchiest track on the album with its instantly memorable chorus and solid breakdown midway through. Losing It drops off the pace a bit with a Tool like vibe in the verses but it lacks any real strength in the chorus and doesn't quite stand up to the rest of the album to this point.
A rumbling bass line drives Enemies and its cool dynamics that utilise an off beat rhythm and a wall of guitars to the track's benefit before the swinging Cut Throat Blues throws down a different feel altogether that manages to work for the most part thanks to the different tempos that it explores. Hell distinctly relies on contrast for effect switching between the soft, clean beginning and the anger fuelled remainder of the track as Trull's screams “I've had enough. I said I'm in hell!” Although Swine Song is a solid rocker, it pales in comparison to the full on runaway train vibe of How Bad Do You Want It which houses a chorus that's sure to fire up any crowd! After a brief two minute silent interlude, the final listed track slips into a hidden clean track that features Trull's clean vocals backed simply by acoustic guitars. Virtually unrecognizeable, this unique version of Iron Maiden's Hallowed By Thy Name is not only apt given the events of recent times, but it's also a very individual take on a classic song showing a completely different side to the band and one that doesn't sound out of place either.
Dreadnaught have assembled a consistently solid album chock full of fine rock songs that mix up a good variety of dynamics, styles and tempos. Whilst not perfect, there's more than enough here that makes this album a welcome return from the Melbourne group. Here's hoping it's not another five years until the next one!
(Roadrunner Records/Universal Music Distribution)
More from Dreadnaught
- Dreadnaught [review]