Album Review: I Mother Earth – Dig (1993)

2016-06-21 16.32.08

The 2016 IME reunion tour with former front man Edwin has many people in Canada DIGging out their early IME cd’s. I never really put mine away, but I honestly did not think Edwin would ever be back in the band. Brian Byrne has been with the band since 1997, and the band released some singles to the radio in the last few years. Edwin had his solo stuff going on, was in Crash Karma, and even held down a job as a bartender. I know Brian Byrne applied for the lead singer job in Stone Temple Pilots, so perhaps that was a sign. Shortly after it was announced that Edwin was back, and a cross Canada tour was planned.

As for Dig, heavyweight producer Mike Clink was involved and this would help ensure that things were done right, but in a kind of raw sort of way. Franz Masini was fired during the recording of this album, so Jag had to perform both the guitar and bass duties(although listed in the credits, Bruce Gordon joined the band after the album was made). Luis Conte and Armondo Borg brought a Cuban flavour to the percussion work, and Mike Finnigan brought his Hammond B3 along to give it that 70’s feel. The drum duties are expertly handled by Jag’s brother Christian, and the aforementioned Edwin looks after the vocals.

The Mothers – The listing on the inside cover states this is an instrumental, however, this is not correct. It starts off nice enough with an acoustic flavour, but gets heavier as the song progresses.

Levitate – Begins with the words ” Feel heavy”. Sounds like a good start to me.

Rain Will Fall – Amazing guitar work, drumming and vocals round this one out. Edwin’s vocal go from low growl to high pitched wail, and everything in between.

So Gently We Go – A slower pace to this song. The guitar sound picks up and Edwin has to sing over it. It is mellow and heavier at the same time.

Not Quite Sonic – Guitar and pounding drums start this one off. “The sights, they’re embryonic(I hope not)…The sounds, they’re quadrophonic.” I can’t confirm this as I do not have a quadrophonic stereo system, but it sounds cool anyway. The background vocals have kind of a Stone Temple Pilots feel, and the music at times feels psychedelic. So it is modern for 1993, and a throwback at the same time.

Production – This song is very unique. The bass is very Flea like, with some RHCP funkiness. This morphs over throughout the entire song. Jag roots the song in a rock vein with his wicked guitar, then spoken word and trippy keyboards almost veer it off in a psychedelic direction. So it is a funky, heavy, slightly psychedelic tune. Ok.

Lost My America – A sort of sad song about being lost and alone. To me the best part of the song is the chorus. The guitars get louder and more wah influenced, and Edwin almost yells over them. It almost has an Extreme flavour to it.

No One – Wicked guitar begin this song off. Again the guitar work sounds a bit like Nuno Bettencourt to me, which is not a bad thing. The drum work is unique in that it has a conga beat to it at times. “No one leaves this Caravan.” I hope he is not referring to the brand of minivan.

Undone – A quiet guitar strum and Edwin whispers the start of this song. It is kind of haunting. Giving off the same vibe as some of the Johnny Cash American Recordings that would follow this song years later.

Basketball – More wicked funky bass, conga playing, and guitar wails. Then the sound level doubles and the pace goes into the stratosphere. I would have loved to see the recording of this. My guess they did not perform this song live as it is so fast and precise. It has kind of a harder edged, heavier Santana feel to it.

And The Experience – A droning and experimental song. Then the chorus kicks in and Edwin is possibly at his best. Jag gives us some neat guitar/bass riffs and the pace picks up to an almost Chilis level. The sort of spoken lyrics and the acoustic mixed with a trippy finish are a nice mixture.

The Universe In You – Quiet rhythmic beginning with clear vocals. Then the song pounds you like the best Faith No More song.

Bonus Songs. I also own the 10″ USA promo that came from this recording. On my copy are 3 songs from Dig – The Mothers, Basketball and No One. According to Discogs there is also a 10″ that has 6 songs. 2 that were not included on Dig – Love From Revolution and Subterranean Wonderland. These are only of interest to you if you enjoy rare finds and blue transparent vinyl.

 

I wish IME had released these added songs. As it was Dig was really good. Who knows? Perhaps a double vinyl re-release. Hmmmm.

9.5/10

For other excellent reviews of this album check out Mike and Aaron

 

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39 thoughts on “Album Review: I Mother Earth – Dig (1993)

  1. J. says:

    Not too sure about this one. I’ll stick with it, though … and I dare say I would have liked it had I heard it back in the 90s.

    … and who doesn’t like blue transparent vinyl!?

    Liked by 1 person

      • Holy fack. Must need big item like engine or transmission work.

        If mine needed that much it might be headed to the heap.

        I can usually fix things myself, because at $100 per hour, mechanics can add up.

        Like

      • I needed a lot of work that I put off. Wanted to try and make it through winter.

        I needed new front brakes. Both rear springs were done. Control arm bushings were toast. Lots needed to be fixed but it’s like new now. Should be able to get a couple more years out of it.

        I had to do this right away, because as you know I have a big road trip weekend coming up! A fest of sausage.

        Liked by 1 person

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