Dikembe / Wavelets - Broad Shoulders / Athaletics 12" Package Deal TE109 / TE115
* Wavelets features Dikembe front man Steven Gray and bassist Ryan Willems.
* Order includes an instant download of both releases.
* Broad Shoulders 2nd pressing + Athaletics 1st pressing
It was surprising to virtually no one - save for Dikembe itself - that the band's debut EP, Chicago Bowls, in all its anthemic, adrenalized indie-cum-emo / punk greatness, took the underground by storm last year. After all, the ironic, pun-laden ode to weed and arguably (and less ironically) the greatest championship squad in NBA history was a breath of fresh air ... playful, charismatic and downright infectious without emitting an ounce of pretension.
A few weeks after the digital-only release, the Gainesville quartet, which features member of Wavelets, Senders and The Young Hookers, found itself buried under heaps of praise and viral buzz from fans and critics alike. Of course, Chicago Bowls was more than deserving of the adoration, serving up four revelatory cuts of undeniable, high energy DIY rock 'n' roll, equally impressive for its sublime instrumental interplay and inventive structures as it was for the insightful, slightly acerbic lyrical content. Cajoling the listener to laugh along with song titles such as "Scottie Spliffen" and "Michael Jordank," there was no doubt that Dikembe's playful nature was a integral part of its singular sound, and perhaps one of the biggest reasons why we couldn't wait to hear what the outfit conjured up next.
Accordingly, it would have been easy for Dikembe to rush its full-length debut, but the band wisely spent an appropriate amount of time self-recording and mixing the ten amazing songs that would eventually make up the long-awaited Broad Shoulders.
From the first long-awaited note of opener "Nothing. Stuff," it's clear that there's something truly unique manifesting itself within these tracks. Dikembe's signature sound - powerhouse rhythms, the acrobatic back-and-forth between the guitars, and front man Steven Gray's confident-yet-completely raw and exposed delivery - is all still present, and it's imparted with even more vigor and conviction than ever before. However, album highlights such as "I Watch A Lot Of Jackie Chan Movies" and "Not Today, Angel" are thoughtful, nuanced and occasionally even haunting. They help to paint a picture of an evolving band and a record that is not only imaginative and memorable, but one that is fully realized and worthy of all the hype.
Still, there's a good chance that Dikembe will once again be taken aback by the adoration that will surely follow Broad Shoulders' official release, but that's what makes the quartet so endearing. What you see and hear is what you get with Dikembe: no fronts or phoniness, and certainly no airs of self-importance. Maybe that's why we love them so much. They're four friends making great music and having a total blast in the process. Lucky for us, they've welcomed the listener with open arms and invited everyone along for the ride.
- Nothing. Stuff.
- Apology Not Fucking Accepted
- I Watch A Lot Of Jackie Chan Movies
- We Could Become River Rats
- I Just Don't Understand What All These Kids Dig About Him
- Not Today, Angel
- Librarians Would Kill For That Kind of Quiet
- That's How What Works
- I'm Gonna Deck Your Halls, Bub!
- Sorry I Can't Stick Around
It's no secret that other than the University of Florida, the quaint, tree-covered city of Gainesville also lays claim to a flourishing punk community frequently regarded for its abundance of bewhiskered denizens, high-volume PBR consumption, ubiquitous Hot Water Music and Against Me! tattoos and an annual free-for-all better known as The FEST. What's more is that the county seat of Alachua County has become synonymous with a scene that launched the careers of some of the most tunefully gruff punk bands in the country, not to mention one the labels that helped lay the groundwork for the coinage of the term "OrgCore."
To say that Wavelets and its singular brand of somersaulting, emotionally charged indie rock (let's just call it emo) is surviving in Gainesville is no understatement. On the surface, the outfit seems more suited to expansive Midwestern plains and the region's rich history of off-kilter whimsy - bands such as the oft-exalted Cap'n Jazz or label mates CSTVT - or even Pennsylvania's newer breed of emo revivalist like Algernon Cadwallader, Snowing and Street Smart Cyclist. And while Wavelets borrows from peers and progenitors alike to create a sound that is both comforting and endlessly exciting, there's no doubt that, at least initially, it feels out of place amongst Hogtown's usual punk rock fare.
Of course, great music usually transcends scenes, genres and geographical limitations. In that sense Wavelets is undoubtedly thriving. Since its 2009 inception, the five piece has steadily carved a niche for itself within Gainesville's independent community, and after a series of self-released digital EPs and a split 7" with hometown brethren Senders, Wavelets burst forth with its Tiny Engines-released debut full-length, Athaletics.
Recorded by Matt Finch and Ryan Williams at Black Bear Studios (Hot Water Music, Chris Wollard, City Of Ships), Athaletics' nine songs in a mere 23 minutes is all it takes for Wavelets to establish its rightful place, not only with Florida's bearded punk elite but also amongst emo's most creative and dynamic forces. 23 minutes of kinetic, unpredictable yet easily digestible goodness; Wavelets is thriving, indeed.
Powered by front man Steven Gray's raspy vocals and clever wordplay, Athaletics is like an old friend that is always welcome to visit. Each spin feels warm and comforting - a nostalgic journey that never loses its luster - yet there are new intricacies and electric passages that transmit in different, exciting ways every time. Athaletics is virtually impossible to resist and soon you'll find yourself unwittingly humming along with tracks like the animated "We're Really Jazzed About the Gig" or the more straightforward, punk-tinged "My Dad The Manatee." Other songs such as "Tailfoot" appeal to the sweet pangs of yesteryear while "Cannonball" lives up to its name with powerful melodies and the emotional heft that good closer should exhibit.
Wavelets' boundless energy, freewheeling, friends-first attitude is universally appealing, as is the fact that despite emulating a style that's often (and sometimes unfairly) characterized by its out-of-tune vocals and slapdash arrangements, the quintet forges songs that are both carefully composed and instantly catchy. It's this unique blend of technicality and structural ingenuity that initially grabs our attention but it's Athaletics comforting nostalgia and sense of fun that really wins us over and begs for repeat spins ... even from the kids in Gainesville.
- Julio Won’t Get Out Of The Car
- We’re Really Jazzed About The Gig
- Luke Moses Loves Stale Food
- My Dad The Manatee
- Bad Scene, Jawbreaker’s Fault
- Cam Taylor Is So American Kushball Right Now
- Kelly Hewitt Loves Waterworld
Broad Shoulders (2nd Pressing):
105 Red / Yellow Starburst (Splatter)
120 Opaque Sunflower Yellow
130 Opaque River Blue
145 Opaque Pomegranate Red
Athaletics (1st Pressing):
75 Clear 180 gram
150 Transparent Red 180 gram
275 Black 180 gram