Marilyn Manson: Mechanical Animals

Marilyn Manson: Mechanical Animals
Alain DuPuis, June 2019

Marilyn Manson is a band that has long been misunderstood, and largely by design. I will never forget when Antichrist Superstar came out in the mid 90’s and caused a minor moral panic. Who was this weirdo group fronted by an angry, satanic, cat-murdering, rib-removing maniac musician?! Even my parents knew who Marilyn Manson was. The clever marketing almost backfired when the band ended up being disallowed from playing shows in certain cities. I never admitted as much to my rather conservative religious parents, but I LOVED that shit. It’s been years since I visited any Marilyn Manson content, so I figured it was time to dust off the old CD player.

Now, on to the review. Mechanical Animals came out in 1998, the third release for the group. On the cover of the album, an androgenous nude(?) Marilyn Manson (real name Brian Warner) stood there like some weird alien. Did that generate a lot of hype? Yep, you bet it did. It also reinforced the notion that he is a brilliant frontman, willing to deliver his vocals flamboyantly, and unafraid.

Mechanical Animals debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, the group’s first album to do so, which meant like it or not, they were a band you had to take seriously.

I chose this album because I think it will probably serve as a good entry point for people who only know of the negative press and the hype. This album came with a number of great singles such as Dope Show, and Rock is Dead, but there are songs that never hit the radio that I think are worthy of a listen.

Check back in a month to see what the other guys thought of Mechanical Animals, and dont forget to leave us a comment, a Tweet, a like on Facebook. Hell, we even reply to emails.

Mechanical Animals Wiki

Mechanical Animals on iTunes

Mechanical Animals on Spotify

Fun fact:

Mechanical Animals is the middle of three concept albums that take the listener on a journey through the mind of “The Worm”, the main protagonist in the plot line, and a semi-autobiographical representation of Manson himself. He is a flawed and tragic anti-hero and self-realized sage that tries to save the world only to find the world doesn’t want to be saved. This consumes him with rage and disgust and transforms him into the destructive and oppressive Antichrist Superstar. The weird thing about this concept is that it’s meant to be played in reverse order, starting with the 1999 album Holy Wood and ending with Antichrist Superstar.

Fleetwood Mac: Rumors

Rumors – Fleetwood Mac

Alain DuPuis, February, 2019
Greetings, fellow audiophiles. It’s Alain, back with another Sonic Collective pick for the month of February 2019, and I’ve been thinking about this one for a long while now.

Rumors by Fleetwood Mac, released in early 1977, is the band’s eleventh studio album. It spawned a number of singles including Go Your Own WayDreams, and Don’t Stop, several of which I’m sure you’ve heard either on the radio or out in the wild at least a few times.

What attracted me to Rumors were the rumors around the making of Rumors. See, I’ve had this longstanding theory that the best music is made when the artists are in emotional distress. Good music is rarely bred from contentment. And while Rumors was being created, nobody in the band was content…

Fleetwood Mac’s line-up at the time consisted of Lindsey Buckingham (guitars and vocals), Mick Fleetwood (drums), Christine McVie (keyboards/vocals), John McVie (bass), and Stevie Nicks (vocals). Prior to working on Rumors, things went sour between the McVies and after eight years of marriage, they called it quits, all but ceasing to communicate with each other – except to discuss musical matters. Meanwhile, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were having an on-again / off-again relationship that led them to frequent and heated fights. The duo’s arguments stopped only when they worked on songs together. Mic Fleetwood was dealing with dark times of his own, having learned that his wife, the mother of his two children, was having an affair with his best friend.  While all this was going on, the press who had picked up an interest in the band, frequently wrote false reports about both present and past members.

With rumors inescapably swirling internally between band members, as well as outside of the band thanks to shoddy journalism and a growing fan base eager for salacious news, Fleetwood Mac was faced with trying times – Rumors was the result, filled with songs deep and personal, full of angst, pain, resentment, and introspection – or so I hear.

It must be pretty good since the Library of Congress added it to the National Recording Registry, an honour only bestowed to “culturally, historically, or artistically significant” recordings. One prominent member of the band was even cited as saying it was the most important album they ever made.

Stevie Nicks has suggested that Fleetwood Mac created the best music when in the worst shape. Lindsay Buckingham said the tensions between band members informed the recording process and led to “the whole being more than the sum of the parts”.

I haven’t given the album a listen yet, but having heard rumors of its backstory, I’ve been eagerly awaiting my turn to pick so we can dive in and see if my previously stated theory holds true – Is the best music made when the artists are at their worst?

Check back at the end of the month to hear our reviews

Eric Clapton: Unplugged


Eric Clapton – Unplugged
Alain DuPuis, July 2018
This month’s pick is Eric Clapton’s album Unplugged.
Recorded in front of a live audience in the winter of 1992 in England, Unplugged represented a stripped down version of Clapton’s music. Bluesy and soulful, the album went on to receive nine Grammy award nominations, ultimately winning six, including Record of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year. Not a bad haul for one performance.
Eric Clapton was a musical giant long before he recorded Unplugged, lending his talent as a guitarist to such notable musical acts as the Yardbirds, and Cream.
Born in Surrey, England, Eric first picked up a guitar at age thirteen, but within three short years, he managed to achieve a large amount of notoriety for possessing advanced prowess with the guitar. As he continued to play around the country in a number of different musical outfits, Clapton forged a distinctive style and rapidly became one of the most talked-about guitarists in the British music scene, an accolade that would dog him – for better or worse – for decades.
Despite professional success, Clapton’s personal life has been troubled. At various times he has faced tragedies, loss, and heartache, battled depression, and fought a crippling addition to drugs and alcohol, but he has always managed to overcome – a feat he attributes to his music, stating: “I almost subconsciously used music for myself as a healing agent, and lo and behold, it worked … I have got a great deal of happiness and a great deal of healing from music.”
His music has undoubtedly also brought happiness and strength to millions of fans around the world.
Let’s dive in to Unplugged.
Eric Clapton – Wikipedia
Unplugged – Wikipedia
iTunes
Amazon

Alice Cooper: Love it to Death


Alice Cooper: Love it to Death
Alain DuPuis
In the late 1960s, Alice Cooper had failed to find any commercial success, despite having released 2 albums under Frank Zappa’s record label. Their sound was just too psychedelic, low-fi, and weird for most people. But that all changed in November of 1970, when with the help of Canadian producer Bob Ezrin, the band released the song, I’m Eighteen, to much acclaim. Approaching their music with a more aggressive, hard rock style, the band managed to convince Warner Brothers records that it had commercial potential to release an album, and I’m Eighteen became the first single on their third album Love it to Death, which was officially released in March of 1971.
The band’s popularity and fame only grew from there thanks to their reputation for putting on flamboyant, over the top live performances.
Love it to Death is considered to be one of the foundational albums that inspired the heavy metal sound, and left a considerable influence on hard rock, punk, and heavy metal. Joey Ramone wrote his first song for the Ramones based on the chords to I’m Eighteen, and John Lydon auditioned for the Sex Pistols by miming to the song.
Along with their contemporaries, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper helped shape the future of hard rock and heavy metal for decades to come.
Love it to Death Wikipedia Page
Alice Cooper Wikipedia Page
iTunes
Amazon

Depeche Mode: Some Great Reward


Depeche Mode – Some Great Reward
Alain DuPuis
1984 was a very important year, because that is the year I was thrust kicking and screaming into this mortal coil. Incidentally, a little known band that you’ve probably never heard of called Depeche Mode happened to release an album that same year, called Some Great Reward, which was important. I guess.
All kidding aside, Depeche Mode is often cited as being an extremely influential music group for the impact they had on the electronic music scene, the pop scene, the new-wave the industrial scene… Lots of scenes. The breadth of their influence is what convinced me that this was the album to dive into this month.
Some Great Reward featured some pretty impactful singles. People are People was culturally significant for several reasons: It topped the charts in West Germany and was ultimately used in the ’84 Olympic Coverage. Remember, this was at a point where the East and the West were at odds on a number of social and political issues. It’s even listed in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame’s most list of 500 songs that shaped Rock and Roll. Other notable singles are Blasphemous Rumours, a song that tackles divine justice, and Master and Servant, a song that looks into sexual politics. Edgy stuff. Especially for the decade that spawned the “satanic panic.”
Full discolsure: I don’t know Depeche Mode’s body of work very well, and the only song I’ve heard from this album is People are People, which I appreciate for its verrrry 80s aesthetic and it’s industrial percussion. My hope is that I find the rest of the album just as awesome as I find People are People.
Check back at the end of the month for our review!
Further reading:
Depeche Mode Wikipedia
Some Great Reward Wikipedia

Review of Alanis Morissette: Jagged Little Pill

Please read Alain DuPuis’ pick for Alanis Morissette: Jagged Little Pill before reading and listening to our reviews below.

Quick Summary: 

  • Would we recommend?
  • Influence us and our tastes?
  • Worth the hype?
4

Review of Alanis Morissette: Jagged Little Pill

The year was 1995, the grunge movement was coming to an end and the strong feminist message from the Riot Grrrl movement was never going to get mainstream radio play. Enter Canadian mall-pop sensation Alanis Morissette with her 3rd album Jagged Little Pill. A huge kudos to Alanis for wanting to be something different than manufactured mall-pop. She left her Canadian home of Ottawa and moved to Los Angeles where she met and had and instant connection with producer Glen Ballard. They would collaborate on experimenting with her sound and they co-wrote most all of the albums tracks. This album was a monster and sold 33 million albums and counting. Have a listen to our review of this mega album and see if it stood the test of time and what we thought about it now. You’ll enjoy this one.
The Sonic Collective


Our Individual Review Scores
Alain DuPuis:
Overall opinion: 4
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 4
Worth the hype? 4
Scott Coates:
Overall opinion: 4
Would I recommend?:4
Influenced my tastes: 2
Worth the hype?: 4
Darren Scott:
Overall opinion: 4
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 3
Worth the hype? 4
Scott Gregory:
Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 4
Worth the hype? 4.5

Alanis Morissette: Jagged Little Pill


July 1st marked the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation, and I guess I’ve been feeling a little bit more patriotic than usual, so for this month’s pick, I’ve decided to stay close to home and celebrate one of Canada’s top female music talents.
Alanis Morissette released the album Jagged Little Pill in June of 1995. I was surprised to learn it was actually her third album, and her first to be released outside of Canada. Full of angst and emotion, a wall of post-grunge instrumentals were complimented by clever, yet relatable lyrics, the album clearly struck a chord with the world at the time, because it ended up topping the charts in 10 different countries. 33 million units were shifted worldwide, and it remains one of the best-selling albums of all time. Additionally, the album spawned 6 singles, which meant that in the 90s, it was unlikely there was anybody on Earth who didn’t know the words to at least one song from JLP. Does familiarity breed contempt when it comes to Alanis? I guess we’re gonna find out.
Let’s put on our flannel shirts, climb into the back of Mom’s Plymouth Voyager, and take a sonic trip through time back to the mid-90s, when for better or worse, Alanis Morissette was all but inescapable.
Links:
Album on iTunes
Album on Amazon
Wikipedia Information on the album.

Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin II

Led Zeppelin


Led Zeppelin is often called one of the most influential bands to emerge from the late 1960s, and are well known for hits including Immigrant Song, Black Dog, and of course, the unforgettable Stairway to Heaven.
Aside from listening to the usual radio-friendly singles, I’ve never formally been acquainted with a full Zeppelin album. That’s why for April 2017, we’ll be listening to the second eponymous album, Led Zeppelin II.
 
Led Zeppelin II - Album cover
 
The album was a commercial success, hitting the number one spot on the charts in both in their home country of England as well as overseas. What intrigues me the most is how the band described the recording process. Songs were written while the band was on tour rotations. They would write whenever they found hours in between concerts. Each track was recorded, mixed, and produced separately at various studios spread out across the UK and North America. The resulting sound is supposedly rife with spontaneity and urgency through necessity. Jimmy Page, the band’s guitarist receives the bulk of the credit for the album’s production oversight. He and engineer Eddie Kramer worked together to cobble the completed album together from recordings taken in piece-meal, sometimes impromptu sessions in cheap studios, hotels and “holes in the wall”.
Interesting? I think so.
Let’s delve into Led Zeppelin II, and we’ll reconvene at the end of the month to see what the group thought.
______
Links:
Album Wikipedia
Band Wikipedia
Buy the album on iTunes
Buy the album on Amazon

Nirvana: From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah


 
The album we’re going to be reviewing this month is both live, and a compilation of sorts – a clear violation of the mandate The Sonic Collective set for ourselves when we formed our noble group a couple of years ago. I guess I am just feeling rebellious, and so too were the millions of people who fell in love with Nirvana’s infectious brand of alternative music.  Our pick for the month: From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah.
About Nirvana:
When Nirvana arrived on the Seattle grunge scene in the late 1980s, the airwaves were filled with hair metal and new wave music. This formulaic, radio-friendly music didn’t appeal to a new generation of disenfranchised or just plain bored youth, who started leaning more towards the underground for their music. Nirvana was just one of many unknown indy-bands who were playing small gigs at the time. But the world would forever change after they signed on with a major label (DGC Records) and released their breakout album, Nevermind. It achieved an unexpected and unprecedented amount of success, suddenly vaulting the entire Seattle grunge scene onto the world’s radar. The direct result was the rise of alternative rock to become the new mainstream, and hold steadfast for the better part of a decade.
The band met a tragic end after frontman Kurt Cobain’s untimely death in 1994, but the legacy Nirvana left behind cannot be understated. Hailed as “The voice of a generation” by numerous publications, Nirvana’s breakthrough helped popularize Generation-X, slacker culture, and alternative music, forever changing the musical landscape.
About our pick:
In 1996, the surviving members of Nirvana released From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah, a compilation of recordings taken from shows they played across the globe between the years 1989 to 1994.   It received positive critical reception, and is often considered the angsty and energetic antithesis to their most popular live album, MTV Unplugged in New York. The album’s title refers to the Wishkah River in Aberdeen, Washington, where Cobain spent time in his youth.
I’ve long been a fan of Nirvana, and I’m excited to delve into this album. Many of the songs will be familiar to me, but I’m eager to hear the difference a live recording makes. Cobain himself was very critical of how polished and cleaned up their studio albums sounded, so being able to hear the songs as he intended them to be heard is gonna be a real trip.
Enjoy From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah!
Listen to our review of this album here.

Review of I Mother Earth: Dig

I, Mother Earth - Dig

Please read Alain Dupuis’ pick for I Mother Earth: Dig before reading our reviews below.
Quick Summary: 
I Mother Earth (or IME for short) made waves in the 90s music scene in Canada, no doubt in part to the fact that they managed to sound just derivative enough to be lumped in with the Pearl Jams, Jane’s Addictions, and Stone Temple Pilots of the world, while managing to sound different enough, and really showcasing their talent and unique take on songwriting. Most of us think it’s a shame IME didn’t pick up a lot of traction in markets outside of Canada – They were fantastic! Darren and Alain are looking forward to seeing I Mother Earth take the stage in Calgary in October with Our Lady Peace.
All of us liked Dig to varying degrees.
What was cool about this album:

  • IME hailed from Canada. Awesome!
  • Dig aged pretty well, despite sounding like a 90s era album
  • We liked the dynamic range in the album (fast n’ loud here, slow and soft there…)

What we didn’t find so cool:

  • The songs sounded very derivative of other 90s alt-rock contemporaries
  • A couple of us had trouble initially getting into the album

We have also implemented a rating scale that you will see below in the reviews. All ratings are out of 5.
Our Reviews Average:
Overall opinion: 4
Would we recommend?: 4
Influenced our tastes: 2
Worth the hype? 4
Read our full individual reviews below. 
Don’t agree with us? Have a comment or suggestions? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment or contact us.

Our Full Reviews

 
smcoates-About-Picture-200x300Scott Coates’s Review
This month’s pick is another Canadian one, and a more in depth introduction to a band I knew of, but didn’t really know beyond one or two key radio hits from the nineties.
Overall Dig is a pretty solid offering that has aged well but definitely has that nineties sound and feel of alternative angst that was so popular and prevalent at the time. The album works well as a complete work rather than just grabbing at singles here and there. It takes the listener on a voyage of sorts and reminded me it was not so long ago artists constructed their albums as complete works that were meant to be taken as a trip from start to finish.
While I like the vibe and sound of Dig, I found many tracks blended together and sounded awfully similar. After a listen I couldn’t differentiate between too many of the songs. So Gently We Go is a pretty rich track, very chill and funky, definitely one of Dig‘s standouts. Undone also falls into a similar category, taking the listener on a tripped-out journey.
Few bands are entirely original in their sound and I couldn’t stop thinking of Janes Addiction while listening to Dig. The band seems to have borrowed heavily from their stock and many of these tracks could be slid into a Janes album and fit right in.
I hate to evaluate bands on the basis of being Canadian versus international, and while I enjoyed Dig, I don’t think it resonates much outside of Canada’s borders or brings anything overly unique to the international music scene. It solidly fulfilled Canadian content requirements on radio but would be tough to recommend to a friend from elsewhere.
If you’re looking to bolster your knowledge of Canadian rock, Dig is a solid bet, fun for a few listens, but long term I’ll likely turn to some more inventive acts.
Overall opinion: 3
Would I recommend?: 3
Influenced my tastes: 2
Worth the hype?: 3
Darren ScottDarren Scott’s Review 
I dig I Mother Earth, Dig.
I had to say that. I was excited to listen to this album for this month as I have always liked I Mother Earth and even saw them live at some point in the mid-90s. Even though I knew I liked them and this album I can’t say it was a band that bubbled to the top of any of my playlists that often. Now that it had been many years since I listened to them I was ready to dive in and give them another spin.
Starting with an atmospheric intro track called The Mothers I was set in a good mood to get into the meat of the album. Next up was… Pearl Jam’s Even Flow? What the hell!? I thought this was I Mother Earth. Oh wait… the song is slightly different, I guess it is I Mother Earth, but that guitar riff is 100% a rip off of Stone Gossard’s Even Flow paying. I have to say, I struggled out of the gate at the time and even now a little of thinking that I Mother Earth jumped on the alt/grunge bandwagon and sounded at times very similar to bands like Pearl Jam, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction. Even though that sours my opinion ever so slightly, I have to say that this band definitely deserves a listen and addition to any rock fans music collection.
Not necessarily unsurprising, some alt rock or punk bands are not the greatest of musicians. However, I was blown away at the sheer greatness of this band musically. All the players and Edwin’s unique vocals gave I Mother Earth an amazing sound. These mofos can play! Put on great headphones and just listen to them play and I know you will be a fan. So good.
I also really liked that they tried to mix up their songs a lot and they seemed to challenge themselves. This is not a band like Motorhead, AC/DC or Nickleback that has many songs that all sound similar. I feel like they were trying to take me on a journey with them through crazy and sad times. Really great songwriting here. I’m always drawn to faster songs so Rain Will Fall and Not Quite Sonic were good for me though I did enjoy slower melodies in So Gently We Go.
I Mother Earth is a great Canadian band that deserves all the praise they get. I’m actually going to see them again in October and can’t wait! For the purpose of our group The Sonic Collective we are judging albums on how they influenced other musicians and made an impact on the music industry. Though there is no doubt that IME is a fantastic band, I also have to be real here and say that I feel that they were more influenced by bands that were ahead of them like Pearl Jam rather than the influencer of upcoming bands. There is no shame in the fact that they were amazing at what they did in the 90s and now, but I would have to say they won’t ever get credit for that sound.
Looking forward to the concert I Mother Earth!
Overall opinion: 3.5
Would I recommend?: 4
Influenced my tastes: 2.5
Worth the hype?: 3.5
Scott GregoryScott Gregory’s Review
I Mother Earth broke my heart.
It was my first year of college. My friends and I spent most of our time drinking, chasing girls and rocking out. We were young, dumb and full of appreciation for Canadian music.
My first experience with I Mother Earth wasn’t Dig, but the follow-up Scenery and Fish. One of the singles, One More Astronaut, was absolutely torching Canadian radio and I had to listen to everything this band put out. I tracked down Dig and a couple songs really resonated with me as well. I couldn’t wait until album number three!
Then the fucking band broke up.
I was crushed. I never gave Edwin’s music a chance, nor did I pick up the next album by IME with Brian Byrne on vocals despite really liking the single Summertime in the Void that got a lot of traction in Calgary. Needless to say, it’s been a while since I listened to much of anything by them (or Age of Electric, or Stone Temple Pilots), but I was ready to forgive and give things a re-listen.
Dig is every bit as wonderful as I remember.
I’ve always had a deep appreciation for 70s stadium rock, prog/psychedelic rock. On the flip side, really driving guitars and aggressive drums are great for me too. This may seem like a strange comparison, but I’d have no problem stacking early Metallica albums with I Mother Earth, as they cycle through instrumental journeys and pounding guitar solos and verbal assaults.

So Gently We Go
‘s soft vocals with a nice the gentle groove is by far my favourite song on the album. It’s now part of my permanent playlist and just sort of blends into anything you want to do. It builds into a crescendo about four minutes in, and lets you down slowly at the end. I highly recommend enjoying it drunk or high, whichever is your preference.
Rain Will Fall is in your face from the start. I remember it from the radio way back. Not sure why
it didn’t hook me into the first album at the time, but coming back to it (both the after Scenery and now) I find myself moshing and head banging just as hard. It’s a great singing in the shower song, if that isn’t too much info. I can also imagine Alain karaoking this track, which I’m sure would bring a tear to my eye. If you don’t sing at all, enjoy the funky guitar riffs!
Finally, the lead off track The Mothers and subsequently Levitate are a great pairing. I’ve seen IME live a couple times, and they transport me back to watching the amazing show they would put on. I can still feel the energy blistering off these tracks. They drag you around changing pace, featuring the vocals, breaking into guitar solos, and thumping out the bass.
Overall, I find this album has aged well. Or maybe my tastes haven’t? I know there’s a 90s Canadiana rocker trapped inside me that’s never quite given up the good fight, clutching desperately to his Sloan, Headstones and Limblifter CDs. Still, if you like to mingle some musical trippin’ with headbanging, this is an album for you.
Overall opinion: 4
Would I recommend?: 4
Influenced my tastes: 5
Worth the hype?: 4
Greg-JorgensenGreg Jorgensen’s Review
This album was a surprise on several levels. Firstly, it was surprising that I’d never heard it before. When it came out in 1993 I was in prime music listening mode. I had my awesome yellow Sony walkman, the radio was always on, and the drama room at high school – where my friends and I spent every minute we weren’t in class – always had someoen’s CD collection blasting. Secondly, I was surprise how much I really loved this album, mostly simply because I rarely hear something these days that I regret missing when it was new.
I loved the variety found in the songs on Dig. The tempo changes, the vocal range, the space given for instrumentals, the use of instruments not often heard, like organs and hippy-dippy percussion…it call came together really well on every song. That’s not to say a few tracks dragged a bit, but even those that didn’t grab me were really well put together.
The Mothers is an interesting song to open with, beginning with a tinkly-winkly opening but using some heavy drums and guitars to pull you into “Levitate,” the next song, which plows right into heavy rock and roll that continues with “Rain Will Fall.” I tend to like heavier music, so I was drawn more to songs like these ones. Standouts for me on the album were Not Quite Sonic and No One, which has some blistering guitars. Me likey.
That being said, when they got quiet and shushed up a bit, as in So Gently We Go, it was still a pleasant listen and a great example of IME playing with tempo and style. The first half of this song sounds like something you’d hear sitting on a cushion on the floor of a hash house, stoned out of your mind, but segues powerfully into a great showcase for Edwin’s vocals and steady, purposeful guitar and thumping drums, which almost drown each other out – in a good way.
There was a definite undercurrent of the alternative music scene threaded throughout Dig, but not so much that you can immediately place it smack in the middle of the Nirvana/Pearl Jam/Smashing Pumpkins era, which produced many artists that had a sound very much defined by the time. There was something about Dig that could make you wonder if in fact it came out five years earlier…or later.
I really liked this album and wished I had paid more attention when it came out. I feel like a lousy Canadian missing such a great native release.
Overall Opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend: 5
Influenced my tastes: 0
Worth the hype: 4.5
alain-dupuisAlain Dupuis’ Review 
Dig was surprisingly challenging for me to get into at first. As I mentioned when I picked the album, I was a big fan of a couple of I Mother Earth’s follow up records, but I hadn’t ventured backwards into their discography. Unfortunately, Dig as a whole didn’t really blow me away. There were some standout songs, however, that really had my attention.
Not Quite Sonic is one of the singles from Dig that I have heard on the radio from time to time. It’s a solid, driving rock and roll song that brings a lot of energy to the room whenever it plays. It is definitely one of my favourites.
Levitate is one of those tracks I enjoy for the dynamic range and aggression. The guitars on this song are particularly noteworthy. Really great track.
I also really enjoyed Rain Will Fall. Its frenetic energy and driving rhythm consistently rocked my world. Edwin’s vocals are never better. This is another one of my favourites from the album, earning a permanent spot on my Assorted Shitmix playlist.
So Gently We Go reminded me a bit of Edwin’s later solo work, with a laid-back, almost “surfer-rock” aesthetic that serves as a reminder that it’s okay to slow down and just enjoy yourself.
I wish I could say I completely enjoyed the rest of the album, but that’s just not the case. The second half of Dig kind of just lost my attention, and no matter how often I made an effort to dive back in, it just didn’t work for me. Even when I randomized the album, I seemed to gravitate back to the songs that occupy the “A” side.
Listening to Dig is like jumping into a time machine and emerging in the early 90s Canadian alternative rock scene. It’s somewhat derivative of the music that was out at the time, but still completely unique. I Mother Earth brought a whole different vibe to their music, rife with tribal percussions, old-school synths, and strange pedal effects on the guitars, and gravelly vocals that all add up to an album that I enjoyed but didn’t fall in love with.
If you’re looking to dive into I Mother Earth, I’d recommend you start with their album Scenery and Fish. It has all the elements that made Dig good, but took it to another level that is difficult to ignore.
Overall opinion: 3.5
Would we recommend?: 3
Influenced our tastes: 2
Worth the hype? 3.5