Retro-Review: ‘Dig’ by I Mother Earth

I Mother Earth is one of the many bands whose videos were played on MTV’s Headbangers Ball once or twice and then never aired again.

At the time, I thought they sounded interesting enough to check out, but I was never motivated to actually go out and hunt the album down.  And, let’s face it, there were higher priorities in regards to hunting music for my collection.

That video I saw was for their single “Rain Will Fall” off their 1993 album Dig, their debut album. I was later surprised to learn that “Rain Will Fall” was one of four singles from the album.

Anyway, I Mother Earth were quickly forgotten about stateside, but went on to have a long career that still last to this day internationally.

Why didn’t they succeed stateside?

Well, you may hear it in Dig, a good-sounding album that really failed to rise above the morass of similar-sounding bands hitting U.S. airwaves at the time.

Edwin (that’s right, just Edwin) is the vocalist on Dig. He’s not bad, but on Dig, he sounds a lot like Billy Corgan or Shannon Hoon, which already starts the feeling of familiarity.

I Mother Earth’s lineup is rounded out by brothers Jagori  and Christian Tanna. Jagori plays guitar and bass on the album, though another bassist, Bruce Gordon is credited. Christian plays drum. They sound fine on their instruments, but again, are plagued with the same problem of lacking a real identity like Edwin on Dig.

The album

I Mother Earth seems to be going for a rather psychedelic metal hippy sound with Dig. Unfortunately, the results are mixed.

When I listen to Dig, I can’t help but think “this sounds like …”

I mean the first single “Rain Will Fall” and a similar song, “Production,” have sort of a Jane’s Addiction meets Red Hot Chili Peppers vibe to them.

On the other hand, “So Gently We Go” feels sort of like something you’d hear from Smashing Pumpkins or even Soundgarden.

This feeling of familiarity kind of makes you ask “why am I listening to this when I can listen to the real thing” throughout. Which is too bad because there are some good tracks on the album.

There are a few that can stick out above the rest like mid-paced rockers “Not Quite Sonic” and “Lost My America,” which has rings of Black Sabbath’s “Planet Caravan.” “No One” and “Basketball” are pretty solid rockers with “The Universe In You” bringing another Planet Caravanish close to the album.  

The verdict

I wouldn’t call Dig a bad album, just not a very interesting one. The production is good and nobody is bad at what they’re doing. But, neither of those things is enough to compel one to buy the album.

I wouldn’t recommend buying it, but I would say go ahead and listen to the songs I mentioned.

This probably won’t be the last I Mother Earth album I review. They’ve had a long career so I will probably check out something else to see if I change my mind.

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