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Album Review: Mediumship by Dikembe

Dikembe released their sophomore album Mediumship at the end of July, while it nearly slipped past us – to let it slip past our readers would be criminal. Why so? Well it’s infinitely better than their debut, on Mediumship there’s a real sense that the band have matured and found their sound, it’s more refined with the band focusing more on the tone and feel of the album rather than relying on crunching riffs. Perhaps an even more important reason to not let Mediumship pass you by is the fact that it comes out sounding like a mix between Brand New, Manchester Orchestra and Balance and Composure.

It’s immediately noticeable that the focus is on the melodies this time round. During opener ‘Even Bother’, ‘Pelican Fly’ and ‘Snakes In My Path’ this is strikingly obvious. The vocal of Steven Gray has changed too; it’s softer and more delicate, giving it a different emotive feeling. These sounds are especially haunting with the latter being bathed in feedback and structured noise.

Whilst the album has a quieter feel than debut Broad Shoulders, you’ll realise after a couple of listens that all the noise and chaos remains, it’s just more refined and done to a different template. Each track sounds sonically huge and sprawling. ‘Mad Frustrated’ and ‘Donuts In A Six Speed’ are fine examples of how that noise has manifested itself into a more strategic and experimental sound. ’24 Karats’ displays how the new sound can have all the chaotic style noise and expansive guitars yet stay true to a brilliant melody.

‘Gets Harder’ is a majestic display of a combination of big riffs, experimental style jams and some delicious hooks. It veers towards a 90s alt rock guitar sound at times before fitting back into that niche between Brand New and Manchester Orchestra. Unsurprisingly the melody stands out once again. Album closer ‘Throw Lips’ does the excellent job of encapsulating the feel of the album within one track – haunting and utterly compelling.

Mediumship has the sound of a band at their most confident after finding their true sound. It’s gripping and instantaneous. Don’t let this pass you by.

AD Rating: 8.5

 

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