the american standard

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"Dreadnaught - The American Standard" was recorded in 2001. This full length album contains my most developed writing and (studio) playing to date. Here's what some folks have to say about this album and my live work with Dreadnaught (Walton, Lord, Habib/Haney) since our inception in 1999 to present.

"The emphasis is on incredibly adept guitar playing atop a solid rhythm section... The guitar lines can switch from Eric Clapton-like bluesy inflections one minute to a modern ragtime sound -- like having Steve Morse and Chet Atkins rolled up into one guitarist. Inject some Steve Howe or Frank Zappa modernist tendencies here and there and you have a totally unique sound that really defies categorization."

Steve Roberts
ZNR Progressive Music

"Zappa meets Yes at Willie Nelson's BBQ"

Boston Soundcheck Magazine

"These guys revel in musical mayhem."

Paul Lebrun (The Stone Church)
January 2001

"Listening to Dreadnaught is a bit like reading a Chekhov play - you don't completely understand it, but you can recognize the greatness... Dreadnaught is one of those bands that is almost too accomplished for their own good. ...they've said, apparently without regret, that only a limited audience really gets what they're doing. But if "Ballbuster" and the rest of... THE AMERICAN STANDARD is any indication, that audiences is poised to broaden substantially. This song is a little like Maine weather: if you don't like what you're hearing one measure, give it a minute, it'll change."

Face Magazine
Portland, ME
April 2002

"don't run away - this isn't the pompous sort of prog but the bizarre sort with angular rhythms and time changes... elements of jazz and baroque in their sound. It's not every day you'll hear a band like this, that's for sure! Highly recommended for those who like exciting and different music."


"Walton tends to steal the show with his versatile guitar playing..."

Mike Prete

"I was so compelled by the strength of the composition in this album that I found myself searching the liner notes for other albums by this amazing trio."

Christopher Ruel
Eclectic Earwig Reviews

"Guitar fans will appreciate the instrumental songs and long, creative instrumental passages, and hear Walton's impressive command of his instrument throughout the CD. This CD drives the needle into the red on the ol' creativity meter..."


"This trio is amazingly creative, inventive, and has an unusually strong grasp on composition and arrangement that is the forte of the album."

Christopher Ruel
Eclectic Earwig Reviews

"It is an ever-changing soundscape that just astounds me when I consider what it must have taken to invent these arrangements and then to execute them with the flawless precision that this trio has."

Christopher Ruel
Eclectic Earwig Reviews

"Dreadnaught has produced a masterpiece with The American Standard that all musicians should give a listen to consider the compositional depth that is demonstrated."

Christopher Ruel
Eclectic Earwig Reviews

"There is excitement in the fact that I can't find any one artist or thing to compare them to. Like the best music does, each listen reveals additional layers, revealing a complex whole. This is something you really need to experience for yourself."

Stephanie Sollow

"an admirable and ambitious undertaking... A lengthy, fiercely energetic album. ...These three musicians are undeniably talented. With a host of projects under their belt and a guitarist trained at Berklee College of Music, there's no doubt they're gifted."

Jeff Marsh
Delusions of Adequacy

"...they just let loose and play some of the most complex, bizarre compositions I've ever heard... their live shows must awesome!"

Matt Shimmer

"...Crimsonish screaming guitars, Steve Howe-ish solos and strange vocal harmonies... There are no concessions here for radio airplay or danceability... I think The American Standard rocks!"

Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock

"Powerful, straight ahead... as if through the meat wolf. Dreadnaught forgo by the way almost completely each key instruments so that above all the guitar receives the leadership role..."

Kristian Selm
Progressive Newsletter
Leonberg, Germany

"...it possesses the listener with its decisive attitude and schizophrenic character... hands down one of the best young bands to boldly come out with a firm intention of driving its stake further into the heart of the much feared prog cliché. Dreadnaught commands the very elemental forces of music and manipulates them into an uncompromising tour de force that robs the listener of one's breath for almost an entire hour, makes sure that the brain is imprinted with heavy tractor tracks, and hardly apologizes for the mayhem at the end."

Marcelo Silveyra

"Prog rock. Math rock. Over-my-head rock. These guys take left turns when I least expect it, throw in a bridge where I'm expecting another chorus, and play with virtuoso chops combined like no other local band."

Tim McCoy
Portsmouth Herald Spotlight

"...the contents of this album are as far from the American musical standards as the American economics from the Pigmy's one. On the other hand, though, the music of Dreadnaught is truly American, unlike Kansas, for example."

(Uzbekistan progressive Rock Pages)

"Overall, "The American Standard" album is a real festival of guitars."

(Uzbekistan progressive Rock Pages)

" ...the song after "Bunnaschidt" is a minute-long dischordant rock piece called "James Thresher Industries: Building Solid Careers In Middle Management Since 1976", which features a ripping kazoo part. Wow."

J. Berk

"...This is some of the most creative and original music I have heard all year long. ...this is the real deal, and one album you should not miss."


"These guys know how to play."

Jeanette Samyn

"The musicianship throughout is quite fierce and the songwriting is very original... A rollercoaster ride of insanity..."


"The music may be too difficult for some..."

Casco Bay Weekly

"The main instrument is the guitar. Don't expect the usual "melodious" guitar solos here, they're often very wild and bizarre. I can hear quite some Yes (Steve Howe) and King Crimson (Robert Fripp) influences here... the album is quite "uneasy listening"... "

Rob Michel
The Dutch Progressive Rock Page

"...a high equivalent to drinking a gallon of strong fresh coffee and sticking my finger into a live mains socket. ...Akin to watching a captivating horror film, you daren't leave the room whilst it is playing for fear of missing something whilst, at the same time, trying to psyche yourself up for a sudden (un)expected change in tempo and style. And that's just the first aptly named track, Ballbuster!"

Jem Jedrzejewski
The Hairless Heart Herald

"these guys are not at all afraid to whip it out. ...Dreadnaught have more ideas in a minute than most new prog bands have on one album"

Mike McLatchey

"This stuff is pure prog of the best kind. The intricate arrangements overflow with clever playing and boundless energy. Justin Walton is a most creative guitarist... If there ever was a must-hear prog album, Dreadnaught's The American Standard is one. In case it isn't obvious, I love this album."

Clayton Walnum

"The instrumental 'Welding' has a warm melodic sound edged with a slightly jazzy feel. ...an excellent piece of music. 'Rats and Me', is not dissimilar to some of the material on the last TranAtlantic album - but this band do it better. I suspect that this is a band that takes their music, but not themselves, seriously - a band to look out for."

New Horizons

"If you listen closely, you can here metal grindings, swing melodies, a little country, a little rock, and a touch of classical all in one song. This smoothly changes from one to the other, about every twenty seconds. Interestingly enough, the limited vocals sections remind me very much of Emerson Lake and Palmer. This is mostly throughout the selections where they can be found and particularly within my favorite section "The Pumphaus Suite"."

Steven Mynaugh

"With some coaxing from Walton the chicken injected an attention getting aural aside and a refreshing visual flash to the band's performance."

Miah Connell
Face magazine

"Bunnaschidt starts of with the meticulous playing you so often hear in jazzrock, but turns out to be a vocal track, with a virtuoso intermezzo, showing a rapid fire of different guitar styles, regular jazzrock, Al DiMeola type romantic and hardcore jazzrock..."

Roberto Lambooy
Axiom of Choice

"Dreadnaught exhibits all of the traits that make progressive rock embarrassing to listen to. They group seemingly unrelated tracks into multi-song suites. They have overdone artwork. Their music is all showmanship and technical prowess with little heart or soul to get in the way. Everything that makes prog "bad" is right here. ..."Ballbuster" is a fitting name to The American Standard's first song as it starts off the album with an amalgamation of raw, harsh sounding guitars, changing tempos so often that the music may not physically damage your testicles but it might leave you dizzy enough to think it did."

Jim Steed

"The American Standard is an amazingly unpretentious album, with simple means the trio achieves a result which at best is colourful, irresistably melodic, playfully energetic, and instrumentally never less than impressive."

Tarkus Magazine

"My wife really loved the unexpected nature of the CD."

Scott Heller

"...schizo-guitar runs/licks, interesting chordal shapes, and avant-garde jazz-guitar techniques. This is some of the best guitar work that I've heard in years. ...Okay, I think I'm going to pick up my guitar now, and try to figure out what the hell Justin is doing on most of this album."

Steve Hegede
Ground and Sky
Progreviews.com, stevehegede.tripod.com

"It's entirely different from everything else that's out there, these guys can play the hell out of their instruments, and there is absolutely no pandering to the record-buying public. This is the type of album Rush, Yes, and Zappa were making in the days of Quadraphonic sound, lots of dope, and giant headphones. It's great. ...music heads looking for an impressive display by an incredibly tight band, buy this album"

Sam Pfiefle
Portland Phoenix

"The odd-time signatures give the music a feel similar to that of bands like Kansas or Emerson, Lake & Palmer. The playing is first-rate, with guitarist Justin Walton playing some very incisive solos all throughout."

Portsmouth Herald Spotlight, Portsmouth NH

"as if King Crimson suddenly replaced their ubiquitous cappuccinos with malt liquor. ...the massive "Derby Days" invokes the fluid guitar work of Yes's Steve Howe, channeled through main axeman Justin Walton. All this, plus unsettlingly patriotic cover art..."

Dan Wooley

"As Justin Walton and Bob Lord continue to experiment with different time signatures, vocal harmonies, calculated interludes and strange approaches, they further become the most unique band in New Hampshire."

Jam Music Magazine

"If you like mind-frying time changes, fearlessly fused styles and a keen sense for the insane, Dreadnaught wants your body."

The Idaho Statesman

"the inventive threesome... combine complex, classical- and jazz-inspired rock guitar with enough time changes to put Rush to shame."

The Summit Daily News

"Justin Walton's playing is a head-turner. He's all over the neck of his Gibson SG and his attack is always honest and appropriate to the choice of tune."

Miah Connell
Face Magazine

"Dreadnaught's shifting styles and complex arrangements often yield a cerebral sound that may be lost on a typical bar crowd. This truly is a band for those who appreciate good musicianship."

Lisa Derbyshire
Portsmouth herald Spotlight

"Any band that sounds like King Crimson at a hoedown (or Mr. Bungle milking cows) you just have to pay attention to..." "Dreadnaught has this way of corkscrewing their way through an arrangement, taking catchy bits and pieces from here and there and forming them into a stew that feeds all present. Musicians can sit and be jealous of Dreadnaught's talent, fans can hear some great songs and dance... Dreadnaught, as one of the better rock 'n' roll mutations I've ever heard, have found a way out of modern rock's caverns that not only is inventive and fresh-sounding, but manages to keep the integrity of what they are doing intact as well..."

Jamie Perkins
Fosters Daily Democrat Showcase

"Dreadnaught is more than just a 'chops' band; they pull off the rare feat of delivering music that is at once hook filled and hummable without slavishly pandering to their audience... Virtuosos who create vibrant, catchy music without watering it down are quite a find."

Northeast Performer Magazine

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