A horrible hack


Broad Shoulders

Year Released: 2012
Format: LP
Label: Tiny Engines
Reviewed by MH on Oct 12, 2012
Dikembe are from Gainesville and put out a pretty good demo a while back so I had a certain level of expectation and hope for this debut album. They surpass those expectations as “Broad Shoulders” is excellent and I can't for the life of me stop listening to it. The sound is very similar to the demo - fleshed out a little but they haven't moved too far away on this release. There is some crossover of members of Wavelets (same singer and guitarist) and Senders. You get the raw, raspy vocals of Wavelets and a lessening of the noodly, twiddly guitar which is replaced by more straightforward, distorted and fuzzy guitars with a tight and hard-hitting rhythm section. The song structures are interesting too. It's some kind of mixture of indie rock, punk and hints of emo but I can't really lump into any of those genres specifically. They are definitely a rock band though and they have more than a hint of the 90s about them. The vocals are pretty strained and full of effort throughout apart from on the opener and the downbeat and more fragile "Not Today, Angel". A number of the songs are short and don't get much past 2 minutes apart from the 7 minute closing track which has a lengthy and drawn-out ending. The pace is generally mid-paced but still bursting with energy. The opener, “Nothing. Stuff”, is a slightly haunting track that hovers in first gear before “Apology Not Fucking Accepted” turns things up a notch. If I had to choose I would say that "I Watch A Lot Of Jackie Chan Movies" is my favourite song on here - the chugging, fuzzy riffs combined with those vocals go together perfectly on this one although they do so on every track here. I have to say I like this a whole lot. I am struggling with recent comparisons but I can hear the influence of the likes of Braid and Hey Mercedes. There is something about this album that makes me keep coming back to it. It's almost like the individual songs don't necessarily stand out that much (I struggle to pick a favourite) but they intertwine smoothly and it works brilliantly as a whole. I think that says enough about what I think about each song. Dikembe have absolutely fulfilled the promise of that demo and this album will undoubtedly be on my shortlist for best albums this year.

Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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