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Album Review: Hail Something by Dikembe

Gainesville’s Dikembe followed 2014’s Mediumship with their new album, Hail Something, released on July 7th  via Death Protector (US), Dog Knights (UK), and Lost Boy (AUS). It’s a natural progression from Mediumship, taking the template of emo and lavishing it with swathes of 90s indie grunge. This is the bastard child of Dinosaur Jr and Saves The Day.

There’s something difficult about Dikembe. On paper they should be a band you love, and while there are fleeting moments that deliver on the promise (such as ‘Just Explode’ and ‘All Wrong’) it’s hard to abandon your reservations and fall in love with the band. Hail Something ends up being one of those albums you like but never seem to rush back to.

The problem with Hail Something is that it lacks impact. It’s difficult to relate to and seems to lack focus. Opener and title track ‘Hail Something’ has some excellent guitar parts and something that goes close to being a hook but decides to fall short of the mark while tracks ‘Like An Archer’ and ‘Fix’ have glimpses of brilliance before they’re over shadowed by messing drumming or directionless guitar parts that you feel try too hard to be expansive.

Then there’s the moments when you think Dikembe might have the potential to be your new favourite band. The previously mentioned ‘Just Explode’ and ‘All Wrong’ are genuinely excellent tracks, put them beside ‘Shelf’ and ‘Earth Around Me’ and you have the basis for a stunning album. It’s such a shame that only ‘Earth Around Me’ clocks in at over 2 minutes and feels like a full formed track. The others leave you unsatisfied and wanting more. Unfortunately the rest of the album just doesn’t deliver, take ‘Awful Machine’ as a single and it’s there with Dikembe’s best work yet something about it just doesn’t fit with the rest of Hail Something.

While ‘Creature of the Week’ seems to pay homage to Dinosaur Jr it lacks the cohesiveness that lurks behind its inspiration, only adding to the overall disappointment of Hail Something. Dikembe have the potential to do something special, it just isn’t Hail Something. Not a bad album by any stretch of the imagination, more of a case of what could’ve been.

AD Rating 5.75/10

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