Album: PhattyReiser – DigDog

JJ Grey & Mofro at Rhythm & Ribs April 28

For months now it seems I’ve been receiving warnings, portents and omens to beware and prepare myself for the the seventeenth Infintesmal release. For a while it seemed these threats would prove idle but at long last, PhattyReiser, the first EP from Jacksonville’s own DigDog, has been realized, whether the world is ready for it or not.
I don’t have any clue what PhattyReiser is supposed to mean but then again, I stopped questioning what DigDog does or how they do it after experiencing them for the first time at 4am during the Infintesmal BBQ 5.
The only way to attempt to understand DigDog is to follow these simple instructions. Spend a solid five minutes or so getting lost in the album art, searching for clues or nods as to what this album is supposed to be about. You won’t learn anything other than the futility of trying to pigeon-hole something like this and the humility that accompanies it, but you should do it anyway– just because. Remove the shrink-wrapping, open it up and be prepared to find just as little information as on the outside. No rambling list of thank you’s, no lyrics, not even a credit for the album artist, just the track listing, and that’s about it. By now, you’re more confused than when you found this strange little object in your girlfriend’s car. There are three songs in a row titled something Dog, who does that? Go ahead and play it, not that it will solve this riddle, but you’ve come this far after all so you might as well.
The first track, ‘HotDog,’ is led by Steve Ezell’s Geddy Lee-inspired bass line accompanied by spacey synths and effected Ween-esque vocals. I was immediately impressed with the recording. It’s clean without being over-produced and fits the music perfectly. For me, the added production filled in some of the blanks of seeing them live several times and helps to build a better understanding of what they are after. ‘SlawDog’ is a quick and dirty little ditty that reminds me of a fairly specific Man Man song. I’m not even going to attempt to tackle ‘DigDog’ (the song) as it is probably the source of their madness and attempting to explain it would not only prove most daunting but threatens to unravel the very fabric of reality. From there it gets a little Zappa, a little prog, a little 90s indie-rock, a touch of post rock and a lot of absurd (Gertrude is perhaps the best example).
Are DigDog completely out of their skulls or be they harbingers of something the world may or may not be ready for? I don’t have these answers but the album is out there somewhere and there’s at least one or two Infintesmal shows a week where you can find it so seek it out and decide for yourself (if you have the yarbles, that is). –