Alice in Chains, Bruce Gordon, Capitol Records, Christian Tanna, Edwin Ghazal, EMI, Eugene B Sims, Eugeology, Extreme, I Mother Earth, IME, Jagori Tanna, Jon Lowder, Music, Nirvana, Rolling Stone Top 500 Albums
Listening to, or should I say analyzing, two albums in a week brings back fond memories of doing the Rolling Stone Top 500 of All Time list. But, I’m trying to stay on track. This will help. The last album was decent but not my favorite. Eugene and Jon are now another week behind. They have a long way to go; both. And, this starts the home stretch. Nine more to go.
#41 – Dig by I Mother Earth.
So, this album came out in 1993. It was right after Nirvana’s Nevermind came out. And, if you’ve read any of my commentary on albums from that time period, you’ll know that I was firmly checked out and against anything that resembled “alternative” music. There were some exceptions but usually, only a song or two, not the band and certainly not full albums were listened to by my ears by the artists that were “of that era.” I have since recanted and condemned my own self for that very ridiculous stance. This is no exception.
The first listen of I Mother Earth’s Dig album didn’t do anything for me, but per usual, it’s more of a wading in as opposed to an emersion at that time. The second time was a little better. Once I start getting a familiarity to something, it’s easier to get into – or completely out of. This was the former.
What we’re getting here is a mixture of funk, psychedelia, metal, Latin rhythms and just plain good rock. It is at times very familiar and others distant, but the more I listen the more I grow fonder of it. There are moments on this album that it is thick and heavy, pounding and in your face. There are moments that hold you in its loving arms and rock you into a thought-free lull. You have to be careful with that last bit because you get caught in its deceptive web of security and you’ll find yourself kicked square in the teeth when the heavy happens.
The album gets airy and it shows that these boys know what they’re doing. I think if I were to pick a weak link it would be Edwin Ghazal (who just goes by Edwin professionally), the singer, and that’s not saying he’s weak, just that if there is a weak link, that’s it. There are moments that I don’t quite get what he’s doing but for the most part, he’s keeping your attention exactly where you need to be. He gets growly and gruff and then whispers sweet nothings in your ear before screaming at you again. He left the band after the second album but is currently back with them.
Christian Tanna is definitely a rock drummer. He’s playing on a level with many of the era’s hard rock heroes. He pounds the skins like they’re trying to attack him. I will say I could use a little more kick drum from him but that’s in the production. I can hear that he is playing them, just not so prominently in the mix. But his footwork is certainly not in question.
Bruce Gordon played bass with the band for live performances and is listed on the album as being the bass player, but it seems that all the bass and guitar work was done by Christian’s brother Jagori Tanna. Now, this guy is a beast!!! His guitar chops are top-notch and his bass playing is rich. A lot of slap work (see “Production” for an example) and solid riffs and runs. A lot of times when a guitar player plays bass he or she tends to get lead-riffy. That’s not the case here. It’s bass runs for sure. They sound more natural for bass players. They’re not always mutually exclusive, but many times they can be. The bass parts and the guitar parts are each able to stand on their own.
The more I listen to this the more they remind me of a looser version of Alice in Chains. Not that they sound like AIC but they have a feel to them. Then again, the riffiness of the music could be a little like Extreme, but with a better singer. I do think the album went a little long, coming in at just over 67 minutes. Only one song comes in at less than four minutes with the average in the mid-fives. The good news about that is the songs are all worth listening to. Not a lot of filler. My favorite tunes are… well, all of them. This is a great album. Vinyl for me, soon. That is if they reissue it on LP. I don’t think it ever was pressed as such. That seems to be a thing these days, so here’s hoping.
Thank you, Eugene for introducing me to it. I await this and about 20 previous reviews from you and well, Jon… You have a world of catching up to do. I think if you put your absent reviews back to back you’d stretch almost to the moon… I kid (mostly).
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“Trying to move forward like a walk underwater. Two steps back like a walk through silent streets. I’ve heard the word. Guess I’m tired of trying . Everybody, I’m saying the ‘pop’ is gone.” – “Undone” (Tanna/Tanna)