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DIG (Buy CDs by this artist)
Runt EP (Wasteland) 1992
Dig (Wasteland) 1993
Soft Pretzel EP (Radioactive) 1994
Defenders of the Universe (Radioactive) 1996

With the mass-market success of grunge peaking in 1993, Los Angeles' Dig fit right in, with distorted, aggressive guitar riffs, insidiously catchy melodies and rough-voiced singer Scott Hackwith. Fortunately, the quintet's self-titled album, produced by Dave Jerden, isn't some hastily thrown-together copycat shuck: the dozen tracks are uniformly well-written. Commercially, of course, Dig entered the fray a couple of beats too late, when the audience for this stuff was already too jaded to give much consideration even to a good act worthy of little attention. (Under different circumstances, there's no doubt the soaring "Believe" or the raging "Feet Don't Touch the Ground" could have become well-deserved hit singles.) Those not suffering from grunge overload and willing to sacrifice surprises for solid songwriting, however, may find Dig truly likable.

Ex-Weirdos guitarist Dix Denney replaced Johnny Cornwell in time for Defenders of the Universe, a less stylized and more genially engaging rock record written and produced by Hackwith.

[Katherine Yeske/Ira Robbins]