Oh, those sweet pandemic era musical silver linings that should populate the realm of indie rock for the foreseeable future. The downtime in 2020 gave Florida based alt-rock power trio DigDog time to hunker down and retool so intensely that in the promo material for their impactful, wildly infectious, and lyrically hard hitting and insightful (and quirkily titled) new album Homeless Theatre, Brad Metz (guitar, vocals), Russian born Alexei Dotsenko (bass) and Jack Ringka (drums) don’t feel the need to mention their two previous albums.
Great – because even if the title of the new collection’s wackiest, fun-filled punkish jam “Firemelon Beaverwolf” harkens back a tad to their previous LP’s “….Beavertrain,” it allows us to focus, as we should, on the jangling, then blistering splendor in front of our itching for adventure and originality ears. There’s another equally important callback to that currently unnamed album as well, as the fluffy, playful one minute long romp “Glad at the World” (with its beautifully silly lyrics “I love guitars, I love my cats, I love my mom as a matter of fact”) is the positive corollary to their less cheery “Mad at the World.”
Those two insanely infectious tracks are the lighthearted oases offsetting the harder musical and lyrical edges that take a tougher, bleaker (and searingly honest) view of the modern world. Originally released in late 2019, the slow brooding, then explosive Nirvanaesque “Sirens of Hell” offers a deeply cynical (but unfortunately, all too accurate) view of human greed and lust for power, using Biblical imagery to illuminate its truths: “God weeps, Satan laughs/Far from the garden and never going back.” The much more recent second lead single, the jangling and hypnotic (and Nirvana-like explosive when it matters) “One Guarantee,” is based on the concept of Sansara (death and rebirth).
On one level, it’s a bit depressing with its reference to the inevitability of death, but the prevailing philosophy offers the song’s best takeaway lines: “Hopefully over our dead bodies, we will be proud of something when we leave.” Another lyric in that tune offers a clue to the trippy, provocative artwork of a rabid wolf riding the back of a sheep with a rose in its mouth on a stage as an audience looks on: “They’re the wolves, you’re the sheep/Everybody knows where they’re gonna go in the end.”
Sounds like some pretty intense pandemic-era life reflections to me. Homeless Theatre is chock full of those kinds of lyrical nuggets embedded in Metz’s soulful, emotive voice and the trio’s alternating lilting and booming rollercoaster. None more poignant than on the title track which contrasts stark depressing reality with shards of hope (kinda like what we’re dealing with at this stage of COVID): “Sometimes there’s life, and people don’t care/Sometimes and often it is unfair . . .Next time you sit around/Inside the place you call a home/You should be oh so very thankful.”