A horrible hack



Year Released: 2020
Format: LP
Label: Skeletal Lightning
Reviewed by Thomas Strawbridge on Oct 7, 2020
Dikembe describe themselves as emo/alternative which is on the money, hair splitting about emo aside. This reminds me of the early noughties; Jimmy Eat World were in the charts, Get Up Kids had hit pop-song perfection. Bands like Taking Back Sunday and Brand New were taking off, and rock music generally had a grungey vibe, without being grunge.

Lyrical themes aside, this errs more to the alternative side of things which is borne out by referencing Hum and Failure in ‘listen if you like’ – but it is somewhat unfortunate that this comes out in the same year as the former have dropped an absolute monster of an album (which sounds nothing like this).

This is well written, structured, there’s 11 songs (bit much) but the times are nice and tight (2 and a half to three and a half minutes bar the opener and closer) so it should work, and there are moments here – the start of ‘Old Husk’ sounding reminiscent of Empire! Empire!, and the opening groove of ‘Living in the Walls’ (sadly lost after a minute) that are absolutely on it.

But this ultimately just doesn’t do it for me - it’s all a bit too mid-pace, and while I’ll chalk a wedge of that up to personal preference, I’m equally unsure that this actually stands out if you’re looking for an alternative rock record.

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