Dig Me Out - 90s Rock Review
#380: Shōso Strip by Ringo Sheena

#380: Shōso Strip by Ringo Sheena

April 24, 2018

While we have traveled, musically speaking, to Europe and Australia quite often, Japan has been a much rarer trip, and we've never revisited an album that wasn't primarily recorded in English. Until now. Thanks to a patron selection, we're checking out the 2000 album Shōso Strip by Ringo Sheena. It's hard to nail down the sound or style of Ringo Sheena on her second album, which bounces from electronic pop to metallic distortion to cabaret swing, all backed by a talented band and produced to the nth degree, using every studio trick in the book. For a pop record, there is almost no western comparison. The better comparisons are trailblazing iconoclasts Bjork or Tori Amos, but even that fails to truly capture the twisted and wild ride that is Shōso Strip.

Intro - I Am A Liar

7:30 - Instinct

14:47 - Excuse Debussy

25:37 - Sickbed Public

32:31 - A Broken Man and Midnight

38:27 - Stoicism

Outro - Bathroom

#379: Sophomore Slump Revisited - The Chinese Album by Spacehog

#379: Sophomore Slump Revisited - The Chinese Album by Spacehog

April 17, 2018

Do you remember 1995? If you do, you probably remember "In The Meantime" by Spacehog off their debut album Resident Alien. The single went to number one on the US mainstream chart, number two on the US modern rock chart, and top fifty in about every country that had a radio station. The album went Gold in the US and Platinum in Canada, and the video was in constant rotation on MTV. So what happened with their second effort, 1998's The Chinese Album? We don't know because neither the album nor any single charted in the US. So it's time for a sophomore slump revisited, and decide once and for all if we need to revisit Mungo City, or leave it a ghost town.

Intro - Mungo City

15:45 - Goodbye Violent Race

18:15 - Captain Freeman

23:07 - Beautiful Girl

Outro - One Of These Days

#378: Laid by James

#378: Laid by James

April 10, 2018

By 1993, James were already established with a string of successful UK singles on their four previous album. But with the release of Laid, they managed to crack wide open United States college and mainstream radio playlists with the quirky and catchy title track. However, like so many albums released in the 90s, a hit single does not always represent the sound of the band overall. While James had their fair share of uptempo tunes, including the New Order-esque Say Something from the same album, with the help of our Patreon patron Patrick (of Three Bines Hopped Spirits) who picked the album, we discovered a moodier, more melancholy sound, driven by bass and atmospheric guitars. While some of that credit is probably due to legendary musician/producer Brian Eno, the band themselves unveil a unique combination of post-punk edge, folk storytelling, Madchester bounce and Brit-pop swagger. It all makes for a listen that bares repeated listens to discover the layers, which also reveal some deficiencies that grew over time.

Intro - Laid

13:23 - Say Something

16:51 - Out To Get You

27:27 - Five-O

Outro - Sometimes

#377: Darkest Days by Stabbing Westward

#377: Darkest Days by Stabbing Westward

April 3, 2018

Our Patreon patrons often surprise us. Our poll for April of 1998 included revered and critically acclaimed albums, but instead the votes went a surprising way. Stabbing Westward's third album Darkest Days, could (and was) written off in some circles as a Nine Inch Nails wannabe. In revisiting this, and other records there were not critical darlings in the 1990s, it is easy to see why. Following up a hit single (one-hit wonder?) on their previous record, the odds were against them pulling out another, especially while wrapping it all in a sixteen track, sixty-four minute concept album, in a genre (industrial rock) as pinned to the 1990s as grunge. But a funny thing happened, while lesser bands were layering oodles of synths and metallic guitars on top of mechanical drum beats, Stabbing Westward remember to write the hooks and keep it grounded in the more rock end of industrial rock. Sure, it's loud and abrasive one minute and whisper quiet serious the next, but with production master Dave Jerden assisting behind the board, the band manages to make it all in work despite the odds.

Intro - Save Yourself

12:15 - Waking Up Beside You

23:23 - Haunting Me

27:23 - When I'm Dead

33:13 - Goodbye

Outro - You Complete Me

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