Dig Me Out - 90s Rock Review
Sandpit - On Second Thought | Album Review

Sandpit - On Second Thought | Album Review

May 17, 2022

Melbourne, Australia's Sandpit only managed one full-length, 1998's On Second Thought, along with a few earlier EPs before disappearing. Mellow and sparse one minute, abrasive and noisy the next, the band finds a sweet spot between the two thanks to inventive vocal melodies that play with phrasing and cadence to keep the listener's ears engaged. Like American counterparts in Slint, Seam, or Polvo, there are slowcore and post-hardcore benchmarks the band hits with ease, while still creating interesting guitar lines between the crawling drum and snare hits.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - Hold Yr Horses

11:23 - Walking in a Straight Line

19:04 - Metamorphosis

21:52 - I Positively Hate You Now

24:16 - Along The Moors

Outro - Helicopters

 

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Bike - Take In The Sun | Album Review

Bike - Take In The Sun | Album Review

May 10, 2022

Known as the more melodic half of the New Zealand alternative "Dunedin Sound" rock band Straightjacket Fits for their first two albums, Andrew Brough left in the early 90s to forge his own path. By the mid-90s Bike had formed and in 1997 would deliver their one and only album, Take In The Sun. The name is appropriate, as the album is full of shimmering, psychedelic sounds, and melodies that cry out for sunshine and warmth. But the band isn't a 60s retro act, incorporating fevered 80s alternative like on "Keeping You In Mine" or shoegaze noise on "Inside." On a pair of headphones, the album swirls and surrounds the listener, an aspect lost on lesser speakers that may turn off less engaged ears. As mentioned in the episode, our Patreon suggester wrote a eulogy for Andrew Brough after his passing in 2020 that is worth your time.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - Take In The Sun

10:35 - Save My Life

18:20 - Inside

23:44 - Keeping You In Mine

Outro - Circus Kids

 

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Madder Rose - Bring It Down | Album Review

Madder Rose - Bring It Down | Album Review

May 3, 2022

On their 1993 debut Bring It Down, Madder Rose's Mary Lorson brings melodic sharpness and emotional depth to her vocals that helps make the band special. Billy Coté's guitar matches Lorson, weaving intricately disjointed solos and leads, while also bringing in shoegaze-styled textures and noise. This gives the band a unique niche in 90s rock, somewhere between the East Coast alternative rock of Belly, Letters to Cleo, or the Breeders along with UK bands like Lush or Slowdive. But with all the magic happening in the songwriting and performances, the end result is missing a gear. A lackluster production, with thin guitars and bass, doesn't give the band a needed punch when the energy levels rise.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - Beautiful John

22:03 - While Away

29:22 - Swim

34:43 - Altar Boy

Outro - Bring It Down

 

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Listen to the episode archive at DigMeOutPodcast.com.
Miljenko Matijevic of Steelheart | Interview

Miljenko Matijevic of Steelheart | Interview

April 28, 2022

Though Steelheart was considered a new band when its self-titled release came out in 1990, the nucleus of the band had been together for nearly a decade. As Red Alert, the band spent most of the ‘80s honing songwriting skills and recording demos in Connecticut while playing occasional shows in a state that didn’t offer a lot of opportunities for a hard rock band. With a plane ticket and 4-song demo cassette in hand, the band, now called Steelheart, scored a record deal almost immediately after relocating to Los Angeles and within a year of moving to the West Coast, Steelheart was topping charts with “I’ll Never Let You Go (Angel Eyes)” which showcased Milijenko Matijevic’s soaring and glass-shattering vocals. With a modest level of success, the age old question of, “What would have happened had Steelheart moved to L.A. five years earlier?” is one that Matijevic has considered but knows he’s powerless to answer. After playing 50 shows in support of 1992’s Tangled in Reins, Steelheart played a Halloween gig opening for Slaughter. Matijevic attempted to climb a lighting truss only to discover it had not been properly secured. The 1,000 pound truss fell on Matijevic breaking his nose, cheekbone and jaw and, subsequently, led to Steelheart’s breakup as Matijevic was in the hospital and rehab for a considerable amount of time. With a new lineup in tow, Matijevic has carried on the Steelheart name and released Wait (1996), Good 2B Alive (2008) and Through Worlds of Stardust (2017) while playing gigs whenever he can. The singer also provided the vocals for Mark Wahlberg’s character in the 2001 film Rock Star which featured Steelheart’s “We All Die Young”. In 2022, Matijevic released the single “Trust in Love” in multiple languages in support of global peace and hopes that the song becomes an anthem for those who need hope in their lives.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - I'll Never Let You Go

10:27 - She's Gone

Outro - Can't Stop Me Lovin'

 

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Listen to the episode archive at DigMeOutPodcast.com.
East River Pipe - Shining Hours In A Can | Album Review

East River Pipe - Shining Hours In A Can | Album Review

April 26, 2022

While bedroom recordings are nothing new to the music world, especially after the availability of cassette four-track recorders in the 1980s, going from crude demos to fully fleshed-out compositions is something else entirely. Many artists have taken advantage of computer-based recording programs in the 2000s, but musicians like F.M. Cornog, under the name East River Pipe, figured out to take an eight-track reel-to-reel home recording set-up and eschew any limitations. On the 1994 compilation Shining Hours In A Can, shimmering guitars and atmospheric keys backed by minimalist production give the sound a lo-fi Bruce Springsteen feel, with songs loaded up on regret, solitude, and loneliness.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - Make A Deal With The City

10:48 - Helmet On

14:48 - My Life Is Wrong

22:00 - She's A Real Good Time

31:55 - Psychic Whore

Outro - Axl or Iggy

 

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Listen to the episode archive at DigMeOutPodcast.com.
Madchester: The Sound and the Scene | Roundtable

Madchester: The Sound and the Scene | Roundtable

April 19, 2022

The Manchester music scene gained notoriety long before Ian Brown and Shaun Ryder thanks to 1960s artists like The Hollies, The Bee Gees, and Herman's Hermits. Following the rise of punk, Manchester provided their own twist with bands like Joy Division and New Order, The Smiths, and The Fall breaking out at home and abroad. But our focus is on the unique combination of guitar-driven rock and underground rave music that morphed into what became known as Madchester. Combining funky, percussive rhythms with everything from 80s college rock to 60s psychedelic, the brief window of the late 80s and early 90s created a unique blend of danceable rock music paired with DJs and club music that became a small factor in the eventual rise of Britpop.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - Fool's Gold by The Stone Roses

13:27 - Dragging Me Down by Inspiral Carpets

26:08 - I'm Free by The Soup Dragons

33:15 - Pacific State by 808 State

46:02 - Sit Down by James

Outro - Step On by Happy Mondays

 

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Listen to the episode archive at DigMeOutPodcast.com.
Karate - In Place of Real Insight | Album Review

Karate - In Place of Real Insight | Album Review

April 12, 2022

Terms like post-punk, post-rock, emo, indie, etc. get tossed around when talking about 90s rock bands that strayed from the mainstream to embrace a different take on the soft/loud dynamic. Boston four-piece Karate takes the angular twin-guitar and vocal attack of Fugazi and shave off some of the rougher edges while incorporating Slint-like slowcore, dialing down the tempos and volumes ready to burst. Karate adds a twist with jazzy phrasings and even a dirgy blues riff, giving the band an opportunity to work with a wider sonic pallet while leaving plenty of open space that occasionally feels underdeveloped.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - It's 98 Stop

17:30 - New Martini

27:22 - New Hangout Condition

35:46 - Wake Up, Decide

Outro - Die Die

 

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Listen to the episode archive at DigMeOutPodcast.com.
Chad Fischer of Lazlo Bane and School of Fish | Interview

Chad Fischer of Lazlo Bane and School of Fish | Interview

April 8, 2022

Though Chad Fischer’s musical resume begins with School of Fish, the drummer didn’t play on either of the band’s two full-length albums. Just before the recording of 1993’s Human Cannonball, Fischer was fired by producer Matt Wallace who brought in session drummer Josh Freese to play on the album. When Freese was unable to tour with School of Fish due to other commitments, Fischer rejoined as the live drummer until the band broke up shortly thereafter. Knowing that he wanted to make a living in music, Fischer acquired gear and built a recording studio where he recorded not only his post-School of Fish band, Lazlo Bane, where he sang and played guitars, but worked on a number of releases by artists like Star 69 and Jeremy Toback. A chance meeting with Colin Hay (Men at Work) resulted in a personal - and working - relationship that continues to this day. Perhaps Fischer’s biggest musical accomplishment, however, was writing the song “Superman” which became the theme song for the long-running NBC comedy, Scrubs. These days, Fischer is writing, recording and producing for TV and movies, staying busy by releasing cover songs (and videos) and starting to work on new Lazlo Bane material.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - Superman by Lazlo Bane (from All The Time In The World)

7:47 - Alone Again by Chad Fischer (from Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs soundtrack)

Outro - 3 Strange Days by Lazlo Bane and School of Fish (from Someday We'll Be Together)

 

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Listen to the episode archive at DigMeOutPodcast.com.
New Radicals - Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too | Album Review

New Radicals - Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too | Album Review

April 5, 2022

New Radicals, the band that wrote the ubiquitous single "You Get What You Give" which will never the airwaves, was the brainchild of Gregg Alexander and former child actor Danielle Brisebois, the former who had previously failed to breakthrough in the late 80s/early 90s solo artist. Donning the iconic bucket hat and calling-out (then) current celebrities like Courtney Love and Beck gave critics something to spill ink about, but the overall 1998 release Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too never got the attention the single managed. Drawing on pop from several decades and angles, the band moves effortlessly between 90s alt-rock less expected sounds like the soulful bounce of Hall and Oates or twists and turns of Todd Rundgren. While the album hones in on specific moods, like longing blue-eyed soul on one track and Badfinger-esque 70s pop on the next, the variety of players gives the overall record an inconsistent vibe with tracks often exceeding their welcome by a minute or two.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - You Get What You Give

22:16 - Mother We Just Can't Get Enough

30:06 - In Need of a Miracle

37:47 - I Don't Wanna Die Anymore

Outro - Flowers

 

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Listen to the episode archive at DigMeOutPodcast.com.
Defryme - Pure Killer | Album Review

Defryme - Pure Killer | Album Review

March 29, 2022

Alternative in the late 80s included several artists who successfully mixed funk and hip-hop with hard rock and metal, such as Faith No More, Living Colour, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. In Melbourne, Australia, Defryme would form in 1989 with a similar sound, but it would take them five years to release their debut Purekiller. By that time, the fusion of hip-hop, funk, and metal was a far less original concept, and while Defryme craft a handful of tight tracks, the band struggles with consistency. The catchy hook of "Therapy" is absent on at least half of the record, which dips into yarling grunge territory on "Sanity" and attempts an ill-advised cover of LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out."

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - Pure Killer

12:03 - Gunn

22:57 - Therapy

33:12 - Sanity

Outro - Rivers

 

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Listen to the episode archive at DigMeOutPodcast.com.
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