Dig Dig

[Radioactive; 1993]

Styles: alternative rock
Others: Melvins, Babys in Toyland

I was glancing at a web board and came across a post concerning guilty musical pleasures. We all have them, whether we would like to admit it or not. They are something we attempt to hide so our colleagues or friends will not ridicule us. Some of us probably find ourselves humming to Brittany Spears or singing “Who Let the Dogs Out” at a ballgame. Like many, I have had a few albums that I treasure but rarely state in public. It’s not that the band is terrible, but (as I like to think) misperceived by the general public.

When I read this on the board I decided to reach into my shoebox where I keep all of my “hidden treasures”. Then I found it, the album I laid to rest about four years earlier: the self-titled debut of Dig. You might remember them from MTV fame; for about three months back in 1993 their single “Believe” was played in MTV’s Buzz Bin. But then, like most one hit wonders they soon disappeared. I remember receiving the album as a promo copy from a friend who didn’t care too much for the band. So, I ended up giving it a listen…. another listen…and another until I realized I couldn’t stop. I loved this band.

I put the disc into my pc while at work and reminisced about the days when this was the only record I listened to. Slowly but surely the songs lyrics came back to me, as I began to hum along. Dig is a mix of the alternative genre that exploded on the scene around that era. More rock than soul, they were typical for that time with heavy guitars, drums and lyrics. “Believe” was there one big hit, although it didn’t seem to take them anywhere. "They will deny there is separation/ they will deny there is confrontation now/ we won't buy in their deception now/ we won't buy what is on our plate now/ why don't you believe, believe in your own god?/ why don't you believe, believe in your own god?" Well, not exactly stellar lyrics, but isn’t really all about the actual music?

This was one of those summer records for me as well. A friend and I would always listen to this record as we were going to a party, club or wherever. Every time track 9, “Green Room” came on we would imitate the whole song. It starts out by someone taking a “hit”, slowly blending in melodies afterwards with: "All I want to do is get high/ lay in my bed/ watch the ceiling go around again." Then the chorus would delve into a fast, fierce tempo where we would bounce our heads up and down while stomping on the floorboard of the car. Most of these songs had the catchy hooks of “Believe”, but maybe without the intellectual lyrical content of many countless bands of the time. Honestly, this album grabbed me from the first play.

That same summer Dig came to my hometown to put on a show. It wasn’t well publicized, as we didn’t find out about it until the day of. Plus, for some incomprehensible reason it started at 5 p.m., which didn’t help the turnout. My point of making excuses: only about 25 people showed up for the show. Even with the low attendance, Dig managed to perform a pretty decent concert. After that summer, I pretty much lost touch with the band. Years passed with the album safely placed in a shoebox under my bed. Then one day, while perusing the dollar bin of my college record store, I found their follow up album Defenders of the Universe. I was excited and ecstatic to find what I thought so many dotes had passed up on. I popped the cd in on my way home, but this time the new album didn’t do anything for me. I even brought out the s/t Dig from hiding to compare the two. The sound was the same, but the catchiness that had made it my favorite wasn’t.

Anytime I go into a record store, I usually find the Dig s/t album in the dollar bin. I want to grab people I don’t know and say, “This is a great album! Trust me…you will love it!” Of course, then I would probably get the “you’re an idiot” look. I rarely mention it to friends as well because then I get the “music snob” comments. However, in my humble opinion this is the hidden treasure of my 90’s.

1. Let Me Know
2. I'll Stay High
3. Unlucky Friend
4. Anymore
5. Conversation
6. Believe
7. Feet Don't Touch the Ground
8. Ride the Wave
9. Green Room
10. Tight Brain
11. Fuck You
12. Decide