Dikembe – “Mediumship” Review
Posted: by Sean Gonzalez
A slow pulse kicks of Mediumship, the new album by Dikembe. A scratchy almost whispered voice weaves around the pulse, breaking up and down in a disheartened scale. ‘Even Bother’ eventually finds itself in a dynamic war between the somber melody and an even more subdued mood. That is the mood of this whole record, trying to battle that particular dynamic of keeping somber even under the thick weight of emotions.
Don’t be frightened, this is not just an all soft record. Tracks like ‘Donuts In A Six Speed’ and ‘Pelican Fly’ have plenty of upbeats and distortion flying about. But a majority of the record is focused on complex melodies and a near whispered vocal approach. Take the song ’24 Karats’ for example. The sounds are relatively controlled, like what Brand New does on their song ‘Handcuffs.’ Guitars are swirling around melodies with clean tones while the vocalist is pretty quite, whimpering his lines out. ‘Mad Frustrated’ is another song trying to build around dynamics rather than just assaulted angst. Bending guitars and a bass that pulsates with the rolling drums. Nothing explodes.
That is one thing I wish would have happened more. Imagine the impact if all of the build near the end of the song wailed out all the emotions, all the things we know are there. ‘Hood Rat Messiah’ is one of the stand out tracks where the vocals are urgent, sputtering with the distortion well. ‘Gets Harder’ has a quick glimpse of what I am trying to want more of, as the vocalist in in complete desperation when he cries out, “leave me alone, little darling” and boom. The music takes off with renewed energy. One thing Dikembe nailed on this album were the soft parts. This is an emo-revival album, and the introspective feelings littered about the quiet moments on this album are fantastic, but I feel there was a lot of closure missing.
Do not get me wrong, this album is a transcendental experience. There are impressive moments and a few tracks with great memorability. Closing song ‘Throw Lips’ is a great way to signal the records end. Mediumship is a healthy approach to the newfound emo genre, I just wanted a few more blistering moments.