New York quartet The Dig have been building some moderate buzz from their first two full-lengths of ’80s shoegaze-inspired rock. It’s a Cure-meets-T. Rex sound that utilizes dark keyboards, with enough reverb to drown Robert Smith. The band’s newest release, arriving just a year after Midnight Flowers, is the Tired Hearts EP, which continues to hone their shadowy sound.
At just five tracks, there aren’t many weak spots here. Highlights Permanent Night and Without Your Love whip back to the Age of Pastels with vocals mirroring Phil Collins and an artillery of bass. Permanent Night is the darker of the bunch, featuring sustained guitar explosions over Steve Winwood keyboards and crushing drums. Without Your Love sounds like surf rock written by Joy Division, layered with thick reverb and football fields of echo.
Lead single “Angeline” is the longest track, and also the least focused. It starts with icy distortion and steady percussion — both of which admittedly fit the mood of the album — only it’s all mislead by an awkward double-time transition and a repetitive serving of hush-hush vocals.
Minor quibbles aside, the Tired Hearts EP is a fine exercise in sound, and The Dig look agreeable as goths.
Essential Tracks: “Permanent Night”, “Without Your Love”