Heaven & Earth Dig Review
Posted by: LazyTrain ()
Date: April 08, 2013 03:15AM

I received an advance copy of the new Heaven & Earth release, Dig. This is my favorite record that I have heard in ages. For those who are not aware, the backing tracks and a lot of the music was recorded in analog in a real studio, so the production is crisp and vibrant. You can actually hear separation in the instruments. There are plenty of Hammond organ flourishes, crunchy guitar riffs, wicked tasty solos, fantastic drum breaks, chuggin’ bass lines and.... oh yeah, Joe Retta’s powerhouse vocals.

If you are comparing this to the first record, “Stuart Smith’s H&E” or Windows to the World, the first record had much more twists and turns style wise, since there were tons of guests and different singers. Dig is probably closest to Windows in that it is a band effort, but..... Dig is much better production wise and the arrangements are more interesting. There is more jamming in the songs. The guitar on Dig has such a fat tone and vibrato. If you have ever seen Stuart Smith play live, I think this record has captured his guitar sound better than the previous records. There are not a lot of guitar players that play with such a pronounced vibrato.... Gary Moore, Blackmore, Kossoff to name a few, but Smith is definitely in that company. He also knows how to wrap a guitar lick around a vocal phrase, which is seemingly a lost art today. Arlan Schierbaum is a tremendous and tasty Hammond player who is really allowed to stretch out on this record.

There are plenty of favorites but my current choice cuts are “Back in Anger” (great rock song with an instantly catchy riff), “Man & Machine” (Richie Sambora adding talk box... great driving tune), “Good Times” (an infectious up tempo acoustic number), “Rock and Roll Does” (bluesy rock with a lot of muscle and swagger), “Victorious” (An Epic Middle Eastern motif and how can you not like a song that has a lyric of “Mano Y Mano”) “Waiting for the End of the World” (dynamic and catchy) and the smoldering but soaring “House of Blues”

While some are throwing around that this record has a retro vibe or it sounds like Deep Purple, for a discussion point, I would compare it in spirit to 70’s era Deep Purple meeting Bad Company. I say that because it has the jamming rock vibe with the Hammond organ, but it also has the catchy hooks, riffs and melodies with a voice that has a bluesy soulful quality with a lot of power. At the end of the day though it sounds like a Heaven and Earth record, but it is a bigger, bolder and ballsier version of Heaven & Earth.

My 2 Cents,

Frank

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SubjectViewsWritten ByPosted
Heaven & Earth Dig Review511 LazyTrain 04/08/2013 03:15AM
Re: Heaven & Earth Dig Review 224 Deuce 04/08/2013 12:32PM
Re: Heaven & Earth Dig Review 185 Kevin 04/08/2013 12:40PM
Re: Heaven & Earth Dig Review 255 Andrew 04/08/2013 12:41PM
Re: Heaven & Earth Dig Review 201 LazyTrain 04/08/2013 02:26PM
Re: Heaven & Earth Dig Review 76 Lynchomaniac 04/15/2013 11:50PM


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