Album Review: Dredneks- Beast of Boredom

Dredneks are one of those bands you have to both see and hear live to fully appreciate them. While their recorded music is versatile, compelling, erratic, explosive, etc., I’d be lying if I said it did them complete justice. Since 2013-’14, I’ve seen this band live countless times and it never gets dull. I don’t care how many bands you’ve seen. Seeing Dredneks live will be one of the most exciting and interactive shows you’ve ever gone to, regardless of what kind of music you’re into.

It’s been a long time coming, but Dredneks have finally released their new album, Beast of Boredom. Over the last two years or so, I’ve already heard most of the tracks live quite a few times. Fans of the band know this album is a musical effort Dredneks had been struggling to push out for some time. But as luck would have it, Grant (lead vocals) was kind enough to send me the songs yesterday, as Beast of Boredom has FINALLY burst through the proverbial placenta. Final mixes and masters are done (courtesy of Nick Borgosz at World of Noise Recordings), and physical copies have been ordered. Even more impressive, is the fact that 4 CD release shows have been booked for this album. Details for those are currently being finalized, but the schedule looks like this:

February 4th- Olean, NY @ The Plant

February 11th- Erie, PA @ Darcy’s Pub

February 17th- Rochester, NY @ Pineapple Jack’s

February 18th- Niagara Falls @ Evening Star

Moving on to the album, it seems as though Dredneks have outdone themselves again, with 14 tracks filled of twists, turns, “head scratching” moments, tangents, evil, bliss, rainbows, unicorns, blood, gore and snake oil.

If I had to describe Dredneks’ sound to new listeners, the only thing I could see myself saying would be, “They almost do everything.” It’s a shame, because so many eclectic bands have come and gone over the years, that saying that just comes off as cliche. Then again, it’s true, aside from maybe rap or hip hop. Beast of Boredom combines metal, country, bluegrass, punk rock, classic rock, folk and subtle hints of classical.

Grant Emeigh might be my favorite vocalist (at least in underground music). He can fill out every genre of music the band explores perfectly. His vocal range, melodies, lyrics, “sound effects” and vocal choices (section for section) compliment each song perfectly and are precise to the millisecond. While it’s easy to compare him to a variety of metal singers, punk rock singers or classic rock singers (depending on what part of what song you’re listening to), there’s also no mistaking his unique tones, inflections and overall attitude, both on studio recordings, as well as the stage.

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Devin Dewyer also brings a solidly placed array of sounds, styles and personalities to the album through his guitar playing. He already stands out from the pack of local ax handlers in terms of overall talent, but his diverse playing, dynamics, technique and his broad knowledge of virtually all styles of fret play, make him indispensable and essential to Dredneks’ sound.

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Speaking of dynamics, you’ll hear a lot of lively bass and drum breaks throughout this release, which again, are essential to the fusion of punk, bluegrass and folk heard throughout Beast of Boredom. Snitty (bass) and Jose Crespo (drums) provide the backbone of the group, infusing Dredneks with their own uncanny musical personalities to complete the package. (Snitty is no longer with the band and Nick Myers has taken over bass duties.)

Now, as this is a metal blog, I can’t help but gravitate towards the heavier songs on this album. My top tracks are easily, “Electric Preacher”, “Death Yodel”, “Human Parasite” and “Too Many Heads”. It’s hard to pick a favorite out of those, but I’d have to go with “Death Yodel”. Those familiar with Dredneks’ live show, will have already heard the other three live and since I just heard “Death Yodel” for the first time, I guess I have to consider it a “new favorite”. It’s packed with heavy riffs, insane changes, a barrage of Grant’s impressive harsh vocals (few and far between on the album, but always complimentary to the riff), and you guessed it…yodeling…as only Mr. Emeigh can.

If you’re into more of a rock vibe, check out “Ain’t Much To Look At”or “Chainsawdomy”. If you want more of that country/bluegrass Dredneks, you’ll love “Chicken Choker” or “Brothers In Crum”.  But let’s face it, this entire album is incredible. I’ve been trying to think of people I know who wouldn’t like something on Beast of Boredom and it’s very difficult. Once again, “there’s something for everyone”, is such a cliche way to put it, but once again, it’s true! People always talk up bands that “mix it up” using taglines like that, but Dredneks are so much more than a “mix it up band”. Dredneks are the band you go to see to have your mind blown at a show, regardless of what you’re into. And as most of my friends in bands know all too well, you DO NOT want to play after them on a bill. I had mentioned earlier that their live show is “interactive”. That said, Grant and Devin will go to any means necessary to ensure that everyone in their audience is having a good time. So, if you’re just standing around looking bored, you might get Grant’s megaphone or washboard stuck in your face, or perhaps Devin’s fret board. You have to love wireless mics and guitars. There’s nowhere to hide.

Well, I think I’ve summed up this album the best I can. It’s time for you to just suck it up and give it a listen. The album will be up for streaming soon and you’ll have 4 opportunities in February to pick up a physical copy at a live show. For now, just check out a sample of what Dredneks have to offer, for those of you unfamiliar:

2017 is already kicking ass for us here at The Metal. If you’d like us to review something, drop us a line here or on Facebook! Thanks for reading!

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