Since the release in 1990 of their debut cd “Un-Led-Ed” for IRS Records, Dread Zeppelin have continued to play to diehard fans and confused faces in crowds around the world for almost 20 years. While the make-up of the band has gone through a few member changes, the main forces of the band have remained to reveal new and old sounds, and look for a new generation of Led Zeppelin fans and anti-Led Zeppelin fans. Dread may always be considered to most, purely a novelty act. However, some may argue that unlike a number of those acts, the bands longevity is due to their ability to actually play. On their latest release, Bar Coda “, they managed to step back in time with their camp approach they are known for. Tortelvis, has made a career of imitating the vocal style and mannerisms of the late Elvis Presley. However, “the times they are a kinda changin.” While Tortelvis still carries some of the Elvis inflections into his own style, the music seems to be more timeless when not reverting to the use of fat, food or drug references, although their use of weaving many songs and riffs together make for laughs of their own.
Produced and recorded by Spice (Dread Zeppelin's longtime drummer), Bar Coda reveals possibly a more mature sound, laced with rhythmic oriented beats but still somehow sticking with the classic DZ formula. Butt-boy's guitar adventurism is also evident when challenged to create more unique versions of familiar songs like That's Alright Mama and The Lemon Song. At times the guitar echoes a sonic tone not unlike that of current bands, Korn and Limp Bizkit. Drummer Ziggy Knarley's beats reflect an almost jazz / rock hybrid, mostly evident in tracks like No Woman No Cry and Out On The Tiles. Spice has taken over the reigns as Bob Knarley relinquishes his producer to role and as brings it on home with Bar Coda. A recording that takes it's roots from "the old" Dread Zeppelin, (Led Zeppelin, Elvis and reggae). Who knew!
Celebration Day, The Lemon Song, No Woman No Cry, The Ocean, The Rover, Suspicious Minds, Out On The Tiles, That's Alright Mama, Thank You and title track Bar Coda. I have a feeling that Mr. Plant will be "thanking" Dread Zeppelin for their version of Thank You and even preferring it over his own just like in the old days.