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(24:13, Red Fez Records)
The US band DREADNAUGHT has been around for a couple of decades at this point, with four full-length studio albums, a live album, a compilation and a handful of EPs to their name. "Have a Drink with Dreadnaught" is the most recent of the latter, and was released in 2013. Dreadnaught has established a reputation as a somewhat unconventional band amongst the ones often sorted under the progressive rock umbrella, and they document that firmly on this latest EP of theirs. Here they use elements from west coast rock, Americana, country and southern rock, apply some jam band tendencies that should be recognizable by fans of bands like Umphrey's McGee in particular, and explore those tendencies in compositions that shift, twist and turn in direction faster than you can say transition. All done in a smooth, elegant and sophisticated manner. The highlight, for me personally at least, is second track Surface Raid, which adds disco to the stylistic palette explored, and alternates a keyboards dominated disco theme with arrangements exploring the same basic lead motifs and harmonies in different and non-disco sounding manners. A concept and approach much harder to describe than to experience, but a brilliant piece of music that is enjoyable through and through, that also inspires to reflect upon subjects such as musical taste. A high quality EP from a high quality and unconventional band, and one I'd recommend to fans of bands like Umphrey's McGee first and foremost, in particular those among them who also have a taste for music of a more challenging nature yet mainly stays within a familiar sounding overall context.
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