23 Feb 2019

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Seafog - EP Review: Dig It On Up

28 Feb 2017 // A review by Peter-James Dries

Just in time for this review, destiny gave me what slowly turned into two seven hour bus trips to and from Napier, the annual Art Deco weekend on the agenda, and fresh music from a band I've been keeping an eye on loaded on my iPod.

But fate had other plans...

Instead of fourteen hours of absorbing every intricacy of Seafog's new album, Dig It On Up, I was stuck in one direction listening to the slack jawed drone of a teenage apprentice cow-cocky on some kind of verbal laxative, and pinned down by a narcoleptic tourist in the other direction.  Always check your iPod has synced properly before entering the stream of potentially trip prolonging traffic on a Friday afternoon, or worse, entering an intercity bus packed with the types that catch buses.

In some way, fate smiled on me. This is an EP that deserves to be played loud, straight from the vinyl, or better yet, played live. Not on a bus. Not in the slow pace of this corporate office environment to which I am relegated, sitting here surreptitiously reviewing.

Not unless you’re using the EP as the soundtrack to a worker simmering, boiling over, throwing their slow corporate machine out the window and storming from the building, cord of their telephone headset trailing behind.

Never mind the bollocks, here’s Seafog. I think I made this point last time I had a chance to review them. It's as if they’re just here to rock out, not to sell you something, not to look pretty, not to make their millions at your expense – I mean why would you make music in New Zealand if that was your goal?

Seafog sound like a bunch of guys standing around making music, not some tool to seduce our youth into spending their unearned allowances to buy one hit wonders on Spotify/Tidal/whatever the young people are into and making the corporate fat cat at the top of this pyramid scheme richer.

Their debut, Raise Your Skinny Fist was a showcase of their instruments and influences. A mix of hard and soft textures. Varying moods, speeds and sounds. This EP is a showcase of the heavier sounds from that record, which suits me at this plateau in my life. Perhaps when they come to making an EP of their softer side, something they could do with the strength of their slower style, then perhaps I'll be ready for it. But not now. This is what I need.

Dig It On Up has one of those driving sounds; not the music you listen to while driving, although this would do well. I mean like a driving force. Pushing you back. Like trying to stand in a wind tunnel or taking a walk on a typical day in Wellington. Like base jumping into a quarry. Pushing you swiftly to the peak velocity, and then letting you glide down gently into the next track. The style suits the stream of consciousness delivery of the lyrics. It's different to Raise Your Skinny Fist, which felt more song, lyric and idea based, where Dig It On Up feels more about the experience, a journey the band is taking us on vicariously.

I’m limited by my own influences, I could never stand up as an Indie darling, but the music is pulling out Sonic Youth having a rare happy day vibe from my mental catalogue of sound. And the Joy Division is strong with this one, especially on the aptly title Division, which is as packed with Joy Division references as you can get without the song becoming a cover medley.

Sometimes music is like one of those fascinator hairclips people wear to the races on Boxing Day; attractive, but not at all functional. You lose interest in that kind of music pretty fast. Especially after an afternoon sitting next to someone wearing one, and being constantly poked in the ear by the sharp points. You pray the next swing of their head takes out your ear drum. This isn't that music.

There is no passion in a hair clip. Not like there is on Dig It On Up.

Dig It On Up will be released on March 15th, 2017. You can find it on the Seafog Bandcamp Page.


About Seafog

Seafog are a three piece from Port Chalmers, Dunedin. Their first gig was performed at Circadian Rythm mid 2006 with Robbie Yeats drumming, Nigel Waters on lead guitar and Rob Sharma on vocals and guitar.

Seafog play country crafted rock with intense lyrics and tribal jazz beats. Rob and Nige jam and write on Sundays in Sunny Port at each others place and Robbie joins them for gigs.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Seafog


Dig It On Up
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Raise Your Skinny Fist
Year: 2016
Type: Album

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