In Deuteronomy 1:29, Moses admonishes the Children of Israel to "dread not, nor be afraid" of the Canaanite warriors. Local abstract hip-hop collective The Dreadnots took their biblical namesake a bit seriously on their latest CD, heavily based on an apocalyptic version of Abrahamic religion.
The disc, essentially a solo production by member Jeremy Coleman, begins with Coleman calling up a Christian radio show and asking, "I'm hoping that the Lord can make my beats better -- is that possible?" The incredulous host responds, "You want the Lord to do what?" It only gets stranger from there.
Over 13 tracks, Coleman's molasses-thick rhythm programming and sampling (mostly obscure, flute-laden Euro-prog) meshes with menacing snippets from both extremist preacher Brother Stair and Church of Satan head Anton LaVey, a phone call to a sex line and some audiotapes from schizoid patients. The result is disturbing, hallucinogenic psychedelia, a dark flipside to the lighter, hazy efforts of the Black Moth Super Rainbow contingent.
Few have plundered Christian/occult wackos with such impunity since the efforts of industrial bands like Front 242 and Consolidated, so this return of paranoid eschatology is more than welcome. The "God = Satan's Dad" theme isn't explored often -- the only direct comparison I'll draw is to Negativland's "It's All in Your Head" performance, which deconstructs fundamentalist religion, or maybe The Residents' "God in 3 Persons."
The Jews wandered for 40 years after tripping balls so hard that they perceived their foes to be Nephilim (giants). Hopefully the Dreadnots' immersive, topical experience will entice listeners to come in from the wilderness a bit sooner.
The Dreadnots CD release with Odd Nosdam, Melissa St. Pierre, and DJ Edgar Um 9 p.m. Sat., Oct. 31. Brillobox, 4101 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $6. 412-621-4900