Friday, March 26, 2010

FDF Volume 2: Issue 178 - I Mother Earth - Dig

By: March

Album - Dig
Artist - I Mother Earth
Key Players - Jagori Tanna - Guitar. Edwin - Vocals. Christian Tanna - drums. Bruce Gordon - Bass.
Produced By - Mike Clink

Release Date - August 10, 1993

What caused me to blow off the dust? - I've actually been thinking of listening to this disc for a bit. I stumbled upon a used copy on cd for $1.99 about a year ago and just couldn't pass on it.

Overview - This was the debut album from the Canadian band. The band had metal overtones but would often "jam" on tracks both in the studio and in a live setting. The name, according to the band has no specific meaning. The album would sell well in the bands home country and they'd go on to release four more records before disbanding in 2003.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - The album begins with what is referred to as an instrumental track "The Mothers". The over dubbed guitars vary in buzzy to choppy single notes. There are vocals in the track asking us to "Listen to the Mothers". Its odd they consider this to be instrumental, but I'll go with it. It offers some big full guitars and the drums are full. The bass is not really up in the mix, but there are some quick runs of guitar solos that are pretty interesting. The first song I ever recall hearing from the band was the single "Levitate" and it opens up with "Feeeeel heaaaavy" and it feels very "alternative" and blended well to the sounds on the radio. Edwin sings at a rapid pace and the band sounds great around him with some great time signatures. It has a very similar guitar run as Pearl Jam's "Even flow" with that run of guitar notes. The bass is much more up in the mix and it continues to be a very interesting track musically. This was actually a later single to be released from the record (the next three on the album were also released as radio singles). The guitar solos are very strong and Gordon and Christian hold everything together. On the final verse Edwin really gets rolling and the track ends very strong. A strong single, especially for the time. "Rain Will Fall" continues along at a torrid pace. Gordon gets to really run on the bass and sets the pace and tone of the track. The guitar is still very present but it is not flashy over the verse(s). Edwin continues to show off his vocal ability and gets up in octave and really seems to hit strong comfort point. There is a nice bass and guitar exchange with Jagori utilizing his wah-wah pedal, then going to a much cleaner sound. Gordon then hits the percussive instruments for a much more "Latin" feel even as the guitar goes the opposite way. Great showcase for the bands talents. "So Gently We Go" at the outset is a much more low key track. We start off with a laid back drum on the ride cymbal back beat and some quiet bass and guitar work. The is a very bluesy guitar sound even on the most simple of guitar parts. The vocals when they do come in are very hushed. Compared to the prior tracks it is hard to gauge what the band is doing. The skill of the players is very evident but it just doesn't have that "oomph" we have gotten on the prior tracks. Is it terrible, no, not at all, just is different. Just when you wonder, it does get much fuller (just about 4 minutes in to the 7+ minute track) and it gets you again with its big chords. Just when I felt sort of "ehh" on the track it comes back again full circle to what it was like and the intro. This is a band that is much more than a one trick pony. The fourth song that was released as a single is "Not Quite Sonic". Right from the start a big guitar hook grabs you and it slowly begins to grow with the bass and drums. There is a decent delay on the guitar and it just has you begging to "get going". The bass plays a big role again and by the time the vocals begin you are hooked. It almost feels odd that a band with this sounds/vibe has such strong musical ability. Not slagging off any band, but when you hear bands like this it can be cookie cutter for sure, but they seem to make this continually interesting. Another great track and very strong choice for a radio single. We hit the half way point of the record on "Production" and it opens right up. Gordon gets slap happy on the bass and then changes in to big booming lines, back to pops and slaps. The drums swell then the guitar and the vocals are just blasted at you like a machine gun. There is a quick lull in the action, but it comes right back after you have hardly caught your breath and runs it all down again. "Lost My America" continues with the big, full sound but the band is quick to take a more laid back approach come the vocals. It does get a little more rowdy come the chorus, but never over doing it. It gets bigger towards the end as well, but as noted, it feels "right". The band is no stranger to longer tracks on the record and the close to 7 minute "No One" wastes no time in getting in your face. The guitar playing is so perfect in the mix and it blends the right effects at the right time. Once again the band utilizes odd time signatures off set with percussive breaks to really keep the listener engaged. "Undone" begins with hushed vocals and a slow climb on bass before Gordon begins the percussive work. The guitar starts and the second verse seems a little more present. The bass and percussion start up "Basketball". By the time the guitar comes in you feel and hear a very strong "Santana" vibe to the guitar, then it really gets going. The band locks down and blasts through the intro. Gordon is all over the bass during the verse and is sort of let alone to get ripping. Ten tracks in to the record I am really wondering why we didn't hear much more about this band? They are talented and doing something pretty interesting (oh that must be the reasons). "And the Experience" continues with the same vibe as prior tracks, but 2 minutes in I was not thinking "wow did they just do that?", but that is quickly changed within the minute and we are back at a torrid clip. The album closes with the track "The Universe in You" an almost eight and a half minute track. It begins with a slow cymbal roll and the vocals go from hushed to rushed. The sound is full with big booming vocals and even bigger bass/guitar and drums. There continues to be good tempo changes and times when the band is allowed to spread out, not locked in to a verse/chorus/verse allows you to do so. There are times when its all but a solo guitar locked into a blues solo in tandem with the drums. There is nice long jam on the back side of the track, but it comes back around rock and roll style. Always on your toes I tell you.

Where are they now? - As recently as 2008 Jagori Tanna said the band could re-form, but there were no immediate plans. Jagori keeps busy as a producer and running his own record label. Christian is working in management within the music business. Bruce Gordon joined the Blue Man Group and has gone on to form a band called "Ostrich" with other Blue Man Group members. Gordon maintains the bands presence on myspace as well. Edwin left the band in 1997 and worked as a solo artist. In recent years he noted he is working on a project called "Crash Karma" with members of Our Lady Peace and The Tea Party

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - I never saw the band live, but in reading (and listening) I really wish I had.

FDF Overall Take - What can I say. I am pretty freaking impressed with this record, and angry at myself for not giving this record much of a fair shake for one reason or another. Sure part of it feels like that whole "90's alternative" but hot damn these dudes can rip on the their instruments and its always interesting. For less than $5 this is a record well worth tracking down if you were a fan of the early 90's sound, and if you appreciate substance over style, this is really for you.


The band on myspace.
A great fan page as well.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

mp3's have been removed...

Rain Will Fall
No One

Tracks taken from "Dig" which, even though it is out of print, can be found here for pretty cheap money.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


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