Thursday, September 15, 2022

Sports Team ‘Dig!’ Deeper For Darker Sound On New Single

After the second postponement of the release of their sophomore album ‘Gulp!’, Sports Team make up for the delay with frenzied new single ‘Dig!’

Exploring a darker punk soundscape than their usual summery garage rock, this latest offering throws a welcome curveball when compared to the preceding singles from the album, and is sure to cause chaos when played on their autumn live tour. 

Starting with a ringing repeated synth note, ‘Dig!’ gradually whips up a storm as guitars drive along underneath Alex Rice’s unusually low and monotone delivery of lyrics with repeated lines and abstract meaning: “I schlepped around, around to the corner shop / Oh no, they smile, they smile, they smile, they smile for him / And that that that that, that’s when the penny drops / Deep in the ground / The ground, the ground / Comes for him”. Immediately, this track is a far cry from the sun-soaked indie-punk world of debut album ‘Deep Down Happy’, where Rice sang tales of fishing and going to the races above bright, joyful instrumentals—a pattern the six-piece seemed to follow on the four ‘Gulp!’ singles up to this point. 

This pent-up, brooding tension is cut at the arrival of the song’s chorus, where Rice reverts to his trademark half-sung, half-yelped delivery doubled by Oli Dewdney’s bassline and occasionally interjected by full-band stabs. With Rice’s call to “Dig!”, madness ensues once more as Al Greenwood’s rolling drums motor along underneath the rocking perpetual movement of the rest of the group. Pitched-up vocals across this break only add to this feeling of delirium before the verse-chorus pattern repeats in much the same way, forming the bulk of this two-and-a-half-minute whirlwind single. 

Closing with desperately crazed shouts from Rice—“Oh he’s hotter than a car bonnet / You could light a cigarette on him”—Sports Team are clearly aiming to add yet another mosh pit-inducing banger to their discography ahead of their tour, yet with a darker tinge to its sonic palette. With now exactly half of ‘Gulp!’ out in the open ahead of its September 23 release, is ‘Dig!’ an indication of new sounds to come from the Cambridge rockers upon its release? Only two weeks until the world finds out! 


David Harrold 

Image: ‘Gulp!’ Official Album Cover



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