Album Review: Dikembe – Broad Shoulders

Gainesville, Florida is well renowned for producing excellent punk music. It is from here that Dikembe try to carve their way out of the legendary city and differentiate themselves from the wealth of other bands in the area.

‘Nothing. Stuff’ is a brooding and bubbling opening track, serving as little more than an introductory track from which ‘Apology Not Fucking Accepted’ can explode into. With the lyrical earnestness of Into It. Over It crossed with the passion of The Wonder Years tinged with the musical style of Hey Mercedes, it is a rabid opener to the album. 

<a href=“http://tinyengines.bandcamp.com/album/broad-shoulders” data-mce-href=“http://tinyengines.bandcamp.com/album/broad-shoulders”>Broad Shoulders by Dikembe</a>

Single ‘We Could Become River Rats’ is about life growing up in Gainesville, about spending time with your best friends and every other familiar pop-punk trope you can care to shake a snap-back at. There is earnestness to this kind of writing, a simplicity that lends itself to very unpretentious and joyfully organic songs. If you like to hear someone singing about their best friends, you’ll enjoy this album ever the more however to me it is a well-worn shtick that only half-works for Dikembe here.

With song titles like ‘Librarians Kill For That Kind Of Quiet’ (for my money, the best track on the album) Dikembe show themselves to be self-aware, intelligent and thoughtful song-writers and there’s a lot of promise in ‘Broad Shoulders’ that goes somewhat unfulfilled. Closing track ‘Sorry, I Can’t Stick Around’ is another neat pop-punk track, well realised but somehow not quite fantastic.

I wish I could enthuse more about this album because Dikembe have a very likeable sound that will take them places but in the end ‘Broad Shoulders’ ends up being only a good album, not a great one. It’s a perfectly enjoyable album but without a real magic moment or stand out track. It’s an album worth checking out as it is very much above average, however it lacks true brilliance. 

3/5

‘Broad Shoulders’ by Dikembe is available now on Tiny Engines.

Dikembe links: Facebook|Twitter|Bandcamp

Words by Tom White (@WhiteyWitters)

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