Hail Something

Written by: PP on 08/01/2017 22:14:00

A few years ago, Florida's Dikembe were predicted to become the next emo/indie sensation given their highly introspective and volatile, yet infectiously catchy take on the genre that recalled just enough of the original emo scene while sounding decisively different thanks to well-timed injections of punk elements. What happened since then? Sophomore album "Mediumship" was fairly boring, and "Hail Something" isn't much better. Dikembe now find themselves fully within the emo revival movement, relying on twinkly and shy melodies and the introspective mood overall, rather than using punk undertones to their advantage, like those on "Chicago Bowls" that tipped them to be the next contenders within the genre.

The thing is, throughout the record there's a vibe that something is cooking under the surface, ready to boil and explode at any given moment. It just never does, as if the band was deliberately keeping their sound under control instead of letting it go amok and result into a chaotic passage that's then wrapped up with an introspective moment right after. That's what we're looking for in a Dikembe song. "All Wrong" comes very close. It's louder and more to the point and features rougher vocals with enough edge to lure you into the relatively catchy chorus. On most other songs, the vocals are awkward at best, reeking of Brand New style 'oh, we are so mysterious and quirky' philosophy that just doesn't translate very well in Dikembe's sound.

Admittedly, the record gets better during its second half. "Awful Machine" is super awkward and quirky, but here the band utilize the quiet/loud dynamic the way it was designed to be used, and look at that, the result is a song that gives you the chills much like their EP work. "Just Explode" is another good example thanks to its louder guitars and heavy usage of distortion to give the song some character. Here, the vocals, which still sound extremely difficult for the vocalist to spew out for some reason, fit better with the instrumentals and create a good emo/indie dynamic that outlines why revivalist emohas been gaining traction at such a rapid pace in the past few years. However, as a whole, "Hail Something" isn't consistent enough to warrant a higher rating. A few interesting songs and a lot of quirks, for sure, but not enough memorable material.


Download: All Wrong, Awful Machine, Hail Something
For the fans of: Snowing, Moneen, Signals Midwest, You Blew It!, Spraynard, Brand New
Listen: Facebook

Release date 07.07.2016
Rorschach Records

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