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Dig Deeper - 'In Central European Time' Album Review


1. How Can I Be Certain

2. Star Tonight (Have You Seen)

3. Don't Ask Too Much

4. Hey!

5. The Ticket

6. Sky Brown Sky

I'm not here to start a political debate so we won't be touching on the political stance of Dig Deeper, or the meanings behind the lyrics of the more politically weighted songs on their new release. I'll instead focus on the music since that's really my job here anyway. The album opens with "How Can I Be Certain" a slowly building tune which sonically put me in mind of driving across open country, here's a band that knows how to draw you in and are adept at leaving space for their music to breathe.

The second song "Stars Tonight (Have You Seen)" is apparently a political statement about the government of Norway where the band hail from. It is very much an ideal track to follow the opener, showcasing the band's ability to write a concise classically constructed Rock song in a style of their own.

What follows are two excellent examples of the band's ability to stretch a groove satisfactorily, with space and an almost widescreen panoramic feel, these tracks certainly gave me the most satisfaction it must be said, the songs have long runtimes but never overstay their welcome. "Don't Ask Too Much" nods gently towards Pink Floyd's golden era and "Hey!" moves quite expertly through a satisfying journey of musical changes, offering the listener something to pique their interest is not something this band struggle with.

"The Ticket" made me think of a Country ballad musically, although cleverly, the instrumentation did nothing to elicit this opinion. It is the second concise musical sidestep on the album which along with "Stars Tonight" does a lot to give the album a more well-rounded feeling of completion if it were composed entirely of the long sustained and slow moving grooves it would perhaps be a lot less approachable and likely to demand a re-listen.

The closer "Sky Brown Sky" is the longest, and to my mind weakest, track on the album clocking in at just over 10 minutes with whispered echoey vocals, sitars and finger-clicks building to a groove on the guitar, here the band sounds like it is channelling early Floyd, more experimental, and sounding more out of its time than the rest of the album to my mind. It's not a bad piece of music but I found it less satisfying than the other tunes, almost feeling like it belongs on "Saucerful Of Secrets" rather than an album from 2017.

In all this is an album of range and scope, and while political rhetoric may not be for everyone and the closing track definitely didn't feel to me to be in the same league as the earlier tracks it is one to check out.

Review - Mike Mclaughlin

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