What's Not Plastic?

Digby

Toucan Cove/Label X, 2007

http://www.digbyonline.com

REVIEW BY: Cory Galliher

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/08/2008

As a music reviewer, I do my best to make my write-up of any given album fair and unbiased. Sometimes, however, circumstances get in the way of this.

Take Louisville power-pop band Digby's latest album What's Not Plastic? -- it was recorded in an active funeral home. That's pretty badass. Regardless of how good the music might be, it's hard to keep how awesome that fact is from affecting my rating, simply because of its sheer originality.bim_ad_daily_vault_print_250

Fortunate, then, that the music’s actually pretty good. The majority of this album makes Digby come off a bit like Lifehouse or a lighter version of Kings of Leon. While I'm normally more into hard rock or metal, I enjoy something a little more mellow every now and again, and What's Not Plastic? filled this void nicely. Digby's got unexpected technical skill and an ear for a catchy verse.

What's Not Plastic? opens with “New America”, the hardest track on the album and one of its highlights. The guitar work here is especially impressive, establishing a strong rhythm that works well with vocalist Paul Moeller's crooning. Next, “Self Evaluation” sets the stage for the rest of the album with a smooth beat that doesn't stray far from traditional alternative rock; it's nothing new, but Digby does it well and manages to impress regardless.

“Bad Swing” is oddly reminiscent of Hootie and the Blowfish. The opening riff and verse seem like they're ripped straight from one of that group's albums, in fact, and they give the track an unusually familiar atmosphere right from the beginning that continues throughout. “Knocking at Your Door,” on the other hand, brings to mind 90s-era Counting Crows. It's not a bad track by any means, but it's largely forgettable when compared to the closer “How Long,” which is similar and more effective on the whole. This is the best song on this album; it's a slow, soothing track, and Moeller's vocals intertwine beautifully with the guitar and percussion, giving it the unique flavor that Digby needs to really stand out from the crowd.

Digby seems like they have what it takes to make it to the mainstream, and based on the strength of What's Not Plastic?, they're definitely a group to watch out for in the coming year. If they continue to refine their sound, they'll be sure to find a place at the top – and maybe the money to record an album in a studio, not a funeral home.

Rating: B+

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© 2008 Cory Galliher and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Toucan Cove/Label X, and is used for informational purposes only.