Written by Zach Hughes
Imagine Elbow mixed with a bit of Pink Floyd, Joy Division and a bit of Country. That’s what Dig Deeper sound like on their most recent release, which sounds great on paper but fails to impress when we’re presented with the goods.
There are many shortcomings on this album but it gets away with it, for the most part, during the first 2 songs How Can I Be Certain and Stars Tonight. These seem to set up a laid back, in-it-for-the-long-run atmosphere with the first track stretching to seven minutes.
At this point we can clearly tell that the production is great and that the band have a very defined sound for this record. However, the cracks do show. The vocals aren’t great and the lyrics seem to be playing catch-up to the large soundscape the instruments create. “Above me I see seagulls coming down” when sang, just feels a bit like a square block in a round hole. The image they’re trying to portray doesn’t always fit the rhythm and can feel a little disjointed.
However, the centrepiece disappointment comes with Don’t Ask Too Much. The 8-minute run time would suggest that something actually happens in that 8 minutes. It doesn’t. It starts off with a nice Albatross-esque vibe (the one from that M&S advert years ago) but fails to gain any momentum and just keeps going on like a long, unwarranted, limp, wet fart. It’s not ambient, it’s dreary.
And then it happens again! But 17 seconds longer…Hey! does not provide the much-needed upstart the exclamation mark would suggest it does. By this point the objective Dig Deeper had for this record is clear and also explains the more proggy influences. The group have tried to construct a vast, progressive and epic sound here. They have succeeded in terms of scale; the thick layers of instrumentation really work and present a large sound to the listener.
Still, the album becomes weighed down by the expectation it places upon itself. It’s overly ambitious and it just isn’t executed well. We hear the same amalgamation of slide-guitars, echoes and nice jangly acoustic guitar in almost every track. The underwhelming lyrical and vocal content only serves to highlight the lack of technical ability here.
It’s clear where this album was aiming to be, the influences I mentioned earlier are mentioned for a reason. The fault here is that Dig Deeper, whilst constructing some nice rhythm and having solid production value, just can’t pull it off.
Check out Dig Deeper’s In Central European Time below:
Credit: Dig Deeper