Judging a band after hearing just one track is a risky move – we’re flooded with choice in music so can cast aside artists in seconds and find something seconds later to fill the void. With this in mind I approached the latest installment of the Count Your Lucky Stars four way split series, featuring four bands I’m hearing for the first time, with an open mind.
Whilst originality in music is often rightly applauded, we all love to hear something that sounds familiar to us and Dikembe are no exception for me. Their brand of emo-rock on ‘Donuts in a six speed’ isn’t in danger of breaking any boundaries as imperfect, slightly strained, vocals meet angular riffs and a sudden change of pace – a similar approach used by bands such as Bayonets and Moneen to great effect previously. It works well though and Dikembe are certainly a band I look forward to hearing more from.
<a href=“http://countyourluckystars.bandcamp.com/album/dikembe-hightide-hotel-jet-set-sail-monument” data-mce-href=“http://countyourluckystars.bandcamp.com/album/dikembe-hightide-hotel-jet-set-sail-monument”>Dikembe/Hightide Hotel/Jet Set Sail/Monument by Count Your Lucky Stars</a>
The same can be said for Hightide Hotel’s ‘Build to Last’ as we’re treated to a very likeable, if not unique, uptempo track that convinces me to take a further listen. It’s an honest pop-punk effort that could do with a bigger chorus to really focus your attention, but you’d happily give them a few more minutes of your time.
Jet Set Sail stand out as ‘Strickland North’ opens with a splendid seventy second instrumental which builds and gathers pace, before breaking down for the closest you’ll find to a singalong moment from all four bands.
By the time we get to ‘Sophisticated Liars’ by Monument we have a good idea of what to expect. It’s a solid track and I’m intrigued enough to head out and find their latest release.
The acid test for any split series is whether the brief glimpses into each band captivate you enough to seek out other material from there. You therefore can’t fault Count Your Lucky Stars for introducing me to this quartet of North American bands in Dikembe, Hightide Hotel, Jet Set Sail and Monument. Job done.
‘4 Way Split’ by Dikembe/Hightide Hotel/Jet Set Sail/Monument is out now on Count Your Lucky Stars.
Dikembe links: Facebook
Hightide Hotel links: Facebook
Jet Set Sail links: Facebook
Monument links: Bandcamp
Words by Tom Beck (@HeyMercedes)