Review: Dregs of the Earth

The Grammy nominated album, Dregs of the Earth is the fifth studio album from the instrumental rock group Dixie Dregs. Released in 1980, this record sees the band continue down a familiar path, maintaining the same degree of quality found on the bands previous albums.

At this point in their career, it is safe to say that Dixie Dregs had perfected their sound. The band knew perfectly fine what they were good at and they did it here, implementing that tried and tested sound that made the previous albums as good as they were. As similar as some of the songs might seem compared to previous releases, each one is superbly crafted and shows the band playing at the top of their game. I particularly enjoyed the six minute epic, Hereafter. This song is quite mellow compared to the majority of the album, but it has some wonderful use of melody and harmonies between the guitar and violin. The way the band drive their sound into increasingly heavier territory until they eventually burst into this motif is worth the price of admission. The song and the album as a whole sounds excellent, especially when you hear moments like these.

Of course, this also makes it pointless actually criticising the playing on this record, simply because these guys sound fantastic through out. It is obvious by now that they are a quality band of great players and they sound extremely tight no matter what they are playing. They have the skill to utilise what would become regular heavy metal motifs and styles whilst wrapping it round beautiful melodies and jazz rhythms. It is a combination that does not get old fast and I for one, love it every second of it.

I would agree that Dregs of the Earth is more of the same, it would be rather pointless arguing that. The band haven’t pushed boundaries too far and they are clearly in their comfort zone here. But that does not mean this is a bad album, obviously by my words above, it clearly isn’t. If you have enjoyed their previous records, this is worth picking up also. I don’t know if it is the best starting point for the band, but it is a solid consistent record regardless.

Rating : 8 / 10

Where to buy :

Track Listing :

  1. Road Expense
  2. Pride 'o the Farm
  3. Twiggs Approved
  4. Hereafter
  5. The Great Spectacular
  6. Broad Street Strut
  7. I'm Freaking Out
  8. Old World