Didgin’ for Rainbows’ self-titled debut album will also be its last, which is a damn shame because this band—and I think I speak for a few musicians and music goers around Edmonton—was a band that gave me a bit of hope. So this isn’t so much of an album review as it is a eulogy for a very creative instrumental local band that was a bit The Moody Blues, The Weather Report and King Crimson.
This band for me reflects a simpler time in Edmonton’s music scene. Circa 2013-2014 when we had two amazing live music venues, Cha Island and The Artery—venues that Didgin’ would frequent while melting the faces off of unsuspecting music goers. Other groups were trying to be the next Mac DeMarco or Radiohead, and then you had Didgin’ for Rainbows, a talented and competent group of guys whose influences were everything but the sonic kitchen sink.
I remember walking into a Didgin’ show while it was jamming on the epic “Big Bear.” It was groovy, somewhat complex, atmospheric—kind of like your first pleasurable mushroom trip. Watching this band live is also ridiculously entertaining, but rare since every member at a time was in close to five other bands.
The first track “The Foundation is Sinking” sounds evil and proggy, something that might be a bit too much for the average music listener. Its slightly timid sister “How to Build a Didgeridoo” is definitely much more approachable even though it sounds like a Joseph Haydn composition on speed.
There’s honestly something for everyone on this album, whether you’re into complex melodies to trip your mind or soft inflections to lull you into a sense of inner tranquility. Not to mention that members have created a fun little comic to accompany the album.
You’ve got a bear in a suit—who I imagine is Big Bear—posing as a CJSR radio host while his coworker/ dog friend Odie bursts in with the new “magnum opus debut album” of Didgin for Rainbows. Eventually the record is played and it’s too much for Odie’s feeble canine mind and he is trapped in a state of psychedelic inertia. Seriously, check out the comic on the band’s Facebook page. It’s a piece of art.
Now the band has decided to call it quits, can’t take the heat of being one of Edmonton’s cult bands. So Nov. 14 at The Buckingham—a place where each member cut their teeth—will probably be the last time you get to see these heavy hitters.
This is Edmonton, though. Bands break up all the time and then reunite countless times so who knows.
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