DREGEN – Dregen [Japan HR/HM 1000 Vol.2 reissue series] (2020) *EXCLUSIVE*
A couple years ago 0dayrox featured in exclusive a lot of albums from the Universal Music Japan campaign ‘HR/HM 1000‘ ; ‘Hard Rock / Heavy Metal’ long time out of print records from their catalog at the price of 1000 Yen = about 10,5 USD.
In 2020 the label started the “HR/HM 1000 Vol.2 reissue series“, including some awesome titles you need to own in a superior Japanese CD press for only 10 bucks.
And here we have DREGEN’s self-titled debut, an album not available as digital download, and including and exclusive Japanese bonus track.
Swedish guitarist DREGEN (real name Andreas Tyrone Svensson) is the one of the founders of BACKYARD BABIES, member of MICHAEL MONROE BAND, and even auditioned for GUNS N’ ROSES.
“Dregen” is a killer hard rock album full of energy and passion you need to discover.
Nothing beats an album that expresses oomph, ups the gears and spits in the face of those watered-down wannabes. There is something so instant and fun about this 11-track platter, the sort of raunchy, riotous affair that’ll have you drinkin’ and smokin’ until your heart’s content.
At the table, Dregen is joined by former Entombed / The Hellacopters man Nicke Andersson, who provides rhythm guitar, bass and drums on three tracks, and with him comes drummer Karl Rockfist (Michael Monroe / Danzig) and bassists Sami Yaffa (Hanoi Rocks / New York Dolls / Michael Monroe / Joan Jett) and John Calabresse (Danko Jones).
And so to the music… and what a record this is! From the opening strains of ‘Divisions Of Me’, with its riotous attitude and glittery romp, there’s no stopping this kid who snarls, “I always wanted to be, reanimated and free” over a sleazy guitar twang before we’re kicked in the balls by the vigorous, piano-tinged chorus.
But it’s with the superb ‘Just Like That’ where Dregen really finds his feet. This is easily one of the best rock ’n’ roll tracks I’ve heard in the last decade, let alone last year, as it stomps with that glam strut and Dregen’s swaggering vocal. Chorus-wise it’s pure melodic rock – the hooks are dirty but you’ll be coming back time and time again to this tale of raunchy ’n’ roll.
The variety on offer here is spectacular to say the least, as the sublime ‘Flat Tyre On A Muddy Road’, with its bluesy, country drool and killer vocal snarl accompanied by Swedish female singer Titiyo, lashes its leathery whip, wiping the floor with ‘Just Like That’ to herald a new king on the throne.
With only three tracks in I’m dazzled by the talent this guy has and wondering where this album is going to go, and wondering if I care beyond this trio of masterful rock ’n’ roll romps.
But the riff heavy ‘Gig Pig’ is just as pleasing, boasting an air of the sinister with its menace and slamming percussion, while ‘Pink Hearse’ and ‘Bad Situation’ go straight for the throat, contrasting in styles but both equally bruising.
‘One Man Army’ is a direct sleaze groover with feisty handclaps, ’70s strut vibe. In contrast, ‘6:10’ is a slow-burner creeper with disco beat and crazy vocal sneer, again showcasing the varying moods and emotions of this smorgasbord of a record.
Each track is a one way ticket to rock ’n’ roll Babylon, often unpredictable, yet always fulfilling to the maximum, reaching into the depths of anarchy yet also reflection as it slithers through the buzzing shimmy of ‘Refuse’ to the climatic wildfire of ‘Mojo’s Gone’.
Dregen’s debut outing achieves its aim of leaving us breathless on the floor and with a smattering of influences it’s no doubt the sort of album you’ll be spinning to keep the party going.
All hail Dregen.
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01 – Divisions Of Me
02 – Just Like That
03 – Flat Tyre On A Muddy Road
04 – Gig Pig
05 – Pink Hearse
06 – Bad Situation
07 – One Man Army
08 – 6:10
09 – Refuse
10 – Mojo’s Gone
JAPAN BONUS TRACK:
11 – Black Canvas
Dregen: lead & backing Vox, guitars, percussion, drums
Titiyo – guest vocals (3)
Nicke Andersson – rhythm guitar, bass, drums
Karl Rockfist (Michael Monroe) – drums
John Calabresse (Danko Jones) – bass
Sami Yaffa (Hanoi Rocks / New York Dolls / Michael Monroe / Joan Jett) – bass