Dredg Catch Without Arms

The third album from Bay Area alt-metallers Dredg seems hell-bent on answering perhaps the least-asked question in the history of rock’n’roll: What would Deftones sound like if they were fronted by Simon LeBon? Catch Without Arms’ bizarrely tuneful fusion of big, fuzzy riffing, breezy pop melodies and pleasingly pompous vocals is exactly what’d you’d expect Terry Date would do with a band that favours gossamer dream-pop textures, swooning ballads and ringing U2 guitar tones over dense, skull-splintering noise. Dredg offer compelling bits of atmospheric indie with guts, teeth and balls, and singer Gavin Hayes sings his unflinchingly yearning lines with passion, confidence and enough Vegas-style bluster to knock Meat Loaf over at 20 paces. Yet, apart from the soaring title track, the slick-as-greased-chrome "Spitshine” (with its Interpol-referencing reverb guitar line) and the urgent oomph of "Ode to the Sun,” most of the songs cry out for a hook to lift them out of Date’s shiny dream-metal malaise. Still, there’s definitely plenty to work with here. (Interscope)