Release: The Dregg EP
Area: Melbourne, Victoria
Date of release: 6/10/17
Genre: Experimental Hip-Hop /Post-Hardcore
Reviewer: Michael Dixon
For Fans Of: Rage Against The Machine, 50 Lions
The release of “The Dregg EP” has been a long time coming for this Melbourne-based Experimental Hip-Hop/Post-Hardcore band after their 2016 singles “Sorry Daddy” and “Weirdo”. I was really hoping that this would be as strong as those previous tracks but as a whole, it doesn’t quite hit the mark for me. However, there is plenty to like about the EP. 'Ridiculous' and 'Offended' offer up heavy slices of post-hardcore guitar riffs with hard-edged rapping and screams. The band’s “we don’t give a fuck” attitude is still very much in tact here as are their controversial lyrics.
My biggest problem with this EP is lack of variation and cohesion. Most of the tracks clock in around the 2-3 minute mark which is fine in that they are short, sharp and direct with their delivery. 'Ill Manned' is a sample-heavy with quirky experimental sounds and act as a mid-way interlude of sorts. However, it doesn’t really fit well here. 'Zovic' uses a recorded prank phone call and manipulates the sound in a musical equivalent of tripping on acid. It’s a bold track but again doesn’t really go anywhere and feels out of place. I guess I was hoping that they’d continued to explore the free-flowing rap experimentation that followed on from 'Sorry Daddy'.
However, the best aspects of this EP for me is the lyrical content. Lead vocalist Christopher Mackertich takes aim at the superficial nature of fame and so-called celebrities that populate the news and social media (Exploring The Kardashians Through The Universe), people not being able to handle opinions and views expressed over social media (Ridiculous), how politically correct and easily offended we have become as a society (Offended) and dealing with our uncertain future (Don’t Go Into The Mangroves).
I personally feel like there is so much potential for Dregg to grow as a band. Musically, a lot of this EP is bogged down in generic post-hardcore elements and breakdowns and at 19 minutes, it leaves the listener wanting more. Hopefully on their next release, they can focus on making a longer record and switching up their style to incorporate more hip-hop and experimental electronica elements. Also, it should flow better as a whole as parts of the EP sounded really jarring to me. But overall, it’s a pretty good release with plenty of room for improvement.
Songwriting Integrity : 7/10
Personal Enjoyment: 7/10