Good God but what a blazing blitzkrieg is herein expounded!! Dreadnaught’s latest is one of those progrock bands shattering the envelope again, this time by leaving nothing and no one out of the mix. Primarily a heavy, speedy, ultra-complicated – hence the CD's title – affair of uber-chops and relentless dizzying time shifts, once you’re in their clutches, you’re at their mercy, and they, thank Zeus and Odin, show no mercy.
Hard Charging is concocted from - hang on to your hat! - the Dave Clark Five-y organ work of Split Enz, the frantic architecture of Frank Zappa at his headiest, the pop work of XTC, the communal tribalism of the Grateful Dead (esp. “Takin’ a Ride with the Fat Man [Fatta Fatta Puck Puck]”), the crazed antics and humor of the Bonzo Dog Band and Primus, glitches of Faust here and there, the avant-gardery of Red Krayola, the beautiful anarchy of Pere Ubu……had enough yet? I could literally go on for pages, so dense is the welter of modern rock history here, but let’s cut to the chase and cite the promo lit: this is “oddball, far out, intellectually acute music”. There’s no other way to put it.
The trio – Rick Habib on drums, perc, and vox; Bob Lord on bass, keyboards, and vox; and Justin Walton on guitars, keyboards, sax, and vox – however, has a dark secret: they’re aesthetic omnivores and were all raised on a brain-damaging phantasmagoria of Warner Bros. cartoons, the Electric Company, Steely Dan, Juicy Fruit, and God only knows what else. Everything that impacted eyes and ears imprinted on ‘em to a gloriously brain-damaging degree. They dispense thermo-nuclear ear candy from gatling guns and do not pause to count the collateral damage. I pity those who will not catch hip to Dreadnaught’s uber-eccentric……um, what do I call it? Style? Mode? Ahhh, I have it: tachyonic schizophrenia. So just toss the disc in the player, shut the windows, turn off the phone, and ratchet the volume up. Head protection is a must.