Treasure is worthless until someone finds it.
What is a critically acclaimed, internationally celebrated band to do when a global pandemic stops them from going out into the world and plying their trade? In the case of The Grip Weeds, they dug down to their roots and brought back a group of songs that originally pulled the band members into one another's orbit.
In an effort to stay active during the Covid shutdown, The Grip Weeds decided to take shelter under the covers. In 2020 the band's version of "You Can't Do That" was featured on JEM Records Celebrates John Lennon, while "You're So Good To Me", their contribution to the 2021 release JEM Records Celebrates Brian Wilson, was deemed “The Coolest Song In The World” by Underground Garage main man Stevie Van Zandt. The warmth generated from reveling in these formative songs inspired the band to take a long pull off of the covers skein.
Ever since The Grip Weeds first long-player emerged during the Seattle Sludge Floods of '94, their obvious genius has always been their ability to tap into the original power of the garage/psychedelic era and reformulate it for modern times. Before the band started churning out their own original classics, songs from the Nuggets-era provided the building blocks of protein that allowed The Grip Weeds to grow into an enduring musical institution.
The latest Grip Weeds platter DiG isn't your average covers album. For starters, there are no oldies radio staples in this collection. The world doesn't need another version of "Louie Louie", but an interstellar blast through The Amboy Dukes' "Journey To The Center Of The Mind" is another matter altogether.
As the band dug in, they had the time to give some love and studio attention to these tracks, which in many cases were originally recorded primitively, quickly and on the cheap. They brought decades of musical wisdom and studio experience to bear on their new version of "Shape Of Things To Come”, which was the first song they ever recorded as a band– it was a staple of their early live shows and part of their club demo tape. "Louie, Go Home" was written by Mark Lindsay, former lead singer of Paul Revere and The Raiders and initially recorded by them (though the likes of David Bowie and The Who also did versions of this song!). While serving as Mark's backing band for the last several years, The Grip Weeds regularly performed "Louie, Go Home" and this new version reflects the tightness and fury of a song played live before recording it.
The Grip Weeds took "Lady Friend", an obscure single by The Byrds, and turned it into a tour-de-force of power and melody with its heavy-hitting production. Some tunes were selected to bring balance to the album like "I Love You" (The Zombies/ People) which they did acoustically, but also to showcase the band's trademark three-part vocal harmonies. With The Grip Weeds at the wheel, these and other unearthed diamonds now shine with a renewed vitality that rivals their maiden voyages.
The music on DiG harkens back to when the band began their journey into that rock and roll night of cramped stages in smoky clubs with temperatures hovering between sweltering and lava– their love of this music made it all worthwhile. All the load-ins, broken-down vans, and questionable accounting at the door could not dampen the buzz that came from melting a room full of faces with the fury and grace that was poured into their performances. ‘DiG’ it!
"DiG is a real stunner. The Grip Weeds clearly had a ton of fun waxing
these tracks, which will feed the need of the band’s dedicated legion of
followers until their next album of original material is released."
– Beverly Patterson, Popalooza
"DiG is spectacular, and it’s essential listening for fans of The Grip Weeds, and of these much-loved songs." – Culture Sonar
Track Listing (click for preview)
1. Shape Of Things To Come
2. Lady Friend
3. Journey To The Center Of The Mind
4. I Love You
5. Lie, Beg, Borrow And Steal
6. Something In The Air
7. No Time Like The Right Time
8. Making Time
9. I See The Rain
11. Louie, Go Home
12. All Tomorrow's Parties
13. I Wonder
14. Child Of The Moon
1. Organ Grinder's Monkey
2. Little Black Egg
3. Going All The Way
4. DiG Theme
5. I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
6. Porpoise Song
7. Outside Chance
8. It's Only Love
9. I Feel Free
10. Twilight Time
11. For Pete's Sake