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Music / The Dreadnoughts

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The Dreadnoughts are a 5-piece Vancouver band that started out as a fairly standard celtic punk act with an occasional sea shanty thrown in the mix, but went full Genre Mashup by adding a strong polka influence to their third album, aptly named Polka's Not Dead.

Before going on a hiatus in late 2011 (which they have since returned from), they were known as one of Vancouver's most active bands, playing a total of 180 shows in 2010 only.

They also once got beaten up for going on stage, devoting a song to the memory of Joe Strummer of The Clash, and then proceeding to play a cover of "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus.


Extended Plays
  • Cyder Punks Unite (2010)
  • Uncle Touchy Goes To College (1992)

Studio Albums:

  • Legends Never Die (2007) - Their debut album, a fairly standard celtic punk album
  • Victory Square (2009) - another standard folksy album, but the instrumental "The Skrigjaargen Polka" can be seen as foreshadowing the next album
  • Polka's Not Dead (2010) - the album that brings heavy polka influences into the mix, widely considered their best work to date
  • Uncle Touchy Goes To College (2011)
  • Foreign Skies (2017) - a Darker and Edgier Concept Album about WW1
  • Into The North (2019)
  • Roll And Go (2022)

Tropes demonstrated by The Dreadnoughts include:

  • Alternate History: "Roll Northumbria" is mostly the true story of the oil tanker Esso Northumbria, except for the last verse. In our universe, the poorly designed Northumbria was retired and broken up after only twelve years in service. In the song, she causes a massive oil spill before this can happen.
  • Badass Boast: "In one hundred years, there will be no emo music. In one hundred years, there will be no screamo music. But in one thousand years, there will be POLKA."
  • Bawdy Song: "Lifeboat Man", a reworking of the traditional "Hog-Eye Man".
  • Bilingual Bonus: Some of the most popular Polish curse words in "Sleep is for the Weak" - "Zajebiście, kurwa", which can be roughly translated as "Fucking awesome, for fuck's sake".
  • Concept Album: Their first post-hiatus album, Foreign Skies was about WW1
  • Darker and Edgier: Foreign Skies, while not musically darker, is certainly bleaker lyrically than their previous output. Given the subject matter, it isn't surprising.
  • Genre Mashup: one of the prime examples. Starting out as a standard folk punk band in the vein of The Pogues or Flogging Molly, they grew to include sea shanty- and polka-inspired songs on their repertoire.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • Uncle Touchy goes to college is often seen as this to their previous materials, containing little to no punk tracks and two songs sung a capella.
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • "Girl", which sounds like a cheery pop song unless you listen closely to the lyrics.
    • "Lost Cause" is a milder case, with fairly depressing lyrics set to upbeat acoustic guitars.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • On Victory Square, the songs "Boneyard" and even moreso "Victory Square", are far slower and darker than the rest of the album.
  • One-Woman Song:
    • "Paulina"
    • "Grace O'Malley" is an atypical example, while it is devoted to one woman, the narrator is her underling, not a lover
    • "Eliza Lee"
    • "Sally Brown"