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Skeletal Lightning

Muck

by Dikembe

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    20% of proceeds from the sale of this album will be donated to Grace Marketplace, a vital one-stop resource center for anyone experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the Gainesville, FL area.
    https://www.gracemarketplace.org
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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    12" vinyl LP housed in a full color jacket. Includes insert.

    Tan w/ Red Smoke LP - Limited to 300 copies. SOLD OUT
    Yellow LP - Limited to 700 copies.

    20% of proceeds from the sale of this album will be donated to Grace Marketplace, a vital one-stop resource center for anyone experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the Gainesville, FL area.
    www.gracemarketplace.org

    Includes unlimited streaming of Muck via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Housed in a digipack CD w/ 8 page lyric booklet.

    20% of proceeds from the sale of this album will be donated to Grace Marketplace, a vital one-stop resource center for anyone experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the Gainesville, FL area.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Muck via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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      $12 USD or more 

     

  • T-Shirt/Apparel

    Two color chest and back print with Green and Orange ink on Black super soft Next Level 100% cotton tees.

    *Images shown are mockups - due to the delicate nature of manufacturing, the actual outcome of each item may vary.
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  • 3' x 3' Flag with 4 grommets for easy hanging!

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    The fresh Dikembe logo embroidered on a Black & Khaki pigment dyed twill cap. One size fits all!
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  • T-Shirt/Apparel

    Two color print with Black & White ink on Red & Black super soft Augusta 50/50 cotton/poly ringer tees.

    *Images shown are mockups - due to the delicate nature of manufacturing, the actual outcome of each item may vary.
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  • T-Shirt/Apparel

    9" Black Mesh Shorts with pockets. Badger Pro brand.

    3 oz., 100% polyester pro-mesh with solid tricot liner
    Athletic cut & superior fit
    Side-entry pockets
    2" covered elastic waistband and drawcord
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1.
Sink 01:37
You left with your head in your hands With a sick, little list of demands: Some saw dust, and a little bit of sand Like you could build your way out of this But you made your case And we were left in the wake Of all you said; its awful impact Old Shoulders A neck that’s built on boulders Why swim when you can sink?
2.
Wake 02:28
We made room in a casket Just a little bit of space “I guess I’ll live there sometimes. Throw stones and keep you safe.” It moved so slow Like it was plastered in place “You were a no-show, Set out to lay me to waste Sat alone at the wake. To watch you sing my praises. If I reach the ceiling, I’ll probably explode. I don’t know. Now I’m running down ghosts To raise hell in your home. Then I’m running down ghosts To raise hell on the throne.”
3.
All Got Sick 03:16
It was minimum wage for a day And it felt great to be above myself and just a little less afraid Then I parked my ass in a van Where I sat around, thought about death and shit Then it all got sick We all got sick And then we left our kin Heads set on ‘obstinate’ To help it all make sense Sat alone in a nest With our backs to the insects And saying, “Home” was a mess But we loved it in excess Without wheels in the mud Grind it out until your season comes When the flies tie into your blood You’ll all get sick And then you’ll leave your kin Heads set on ‘obstinate’ To make it all make sense We were strapped to the seats For a couple of weeks Took a nosedive on average Never felt like defeat We were experts at loss But it was course for the cause Because for a time we were matchsticks For a couple hundred sad kids We’re all still sick Set out to lead our kin Heads set on ‘obstinate’ And now it all makes sense
4.
Throat 02:47
I watched you go I watched it close Kept my eyes where you could see ‘em Kept my hands inside my throat Cause I felt choked When you left I felt choked Start a fire At the most I’m a ghost So just send me down below Or pick a fight with a spark And then send me down below Start a fire It’s like catching wasps in a net And wearing their barbs on your neck I watched you go I watched it close Kept my eyes up on the ceiling Kept my hands inside my throat
5.
Old Husks 03:39
I honestly can’t say a single nice thing Or much of anything for all of these insects And their empires Holding old husks But I can say I don’t miss the days Of being a pawn or a martyr in somebody’s imperfect game When the shows I take Mean more than the points I make Like how I say things that the earth shouldn’t take How I’m screaming out Like all the time In hopes that these hang-ups will somehow unwind When these terrible scenarios seem like all I know So I’ll pack up some feelings to take to the grave And I honestly can’t say a single nice thing Or much of anything for all of these insects And their empires Holding old husks only for themselves Only for themselves A little insight into hell A little comfort for our shells And we stay cause it’s safe there I admit I’m content With this feeling of constant Relapsing, reviving, then lying in wait When the unhinged start of all these things I pull apart Replace them with magic until it’s just not the same A chorus line, set to off-half-time Piece of the puzzle not quite set in frame Then it creeps in like a soft wind And I feel it all over like old, chipping paint But the real world is compelled to spin I wish that I could have felt anything since Fuck all these insects and their empires Holding old husks only for themselves
6.
Stay Beat 03:10
Screw your head on straight Then learn to love your lane Keep the bullshit and it’s requisites at bay Something like a kid Born inside a bin A random mix of chemicals Reaction over quick Adapt it Don’t turn the other cheek Play nice with all those who think you weak Then keep that head on straight And learn to act your age Lead a single praise Then turn around and walk away Hang your head by your knees While all the world is asleep Hold fast, turn tail, then just retreat It’s easier to stay beat
7.
Barely a Sea 02:49
When you’re awake I wanna sing into your soft face But it’s not as much fun As throwing your name around With my head in the ground And my foot in my mouth I could hear them thinking, “Too bad you’re so old.” I disagree I was an ocean once Now I’m barely a sea
8.
Perfect Mess 02:31
Sewn up tight in bedsheets Choking on an air that’s sick yet sweet A sort of existential arrogance with doubt drowning underneath And I know that I should take a break Stop giving out grace in spades And I know that I should take the day But I’m gonna stay in anyway Toeing a great divide Tossing blessings across the fence Breath deep in an attempt to cultivate a perfect mess And with the advent of time We’ve all fallen behind With the advent of passing time We’ve all instantly fallen behind I know that I should take a break Stop giving out grace in spades I know that I should take the day But I’m gonna stay in anyway
9.
I’m falling asleep, but nothing feels good So it’s not like sleep at all It’s like I’m living in the walls My heart’s in space Put my head in its place My eyes in their sockets And my skin like a snake I’m always awake What I’m trying to say I can’t say But I’m trying to say it plainly I’ll be honest I’ve been throwing shade, mixing signals, and going grey I’m feeling great about it Mostly great about it I’m still insane Just out of the frame I’m falling asleep but nothing feels good So it’s not like sleep at all It’s like I’m living in the walls
10.
Shame 03:42
I was in tip-top shape With a hole in my face I had nothing to say Still tried all day If you could sleep in the smoke stacks It might not sit the same Cause if you’d breath in the smoke stacks You’d find calm in the shame We built a life in the trenches Out of tables and benches We pushed trash to our best friends But we were good for it In past lives, there were worse times We tied ourselves to our favorite ship And went down with it I was in tip-top shape A new hole in my face So I filled it with faith and weird shit to say If you could breath in the smoke stacks It might not sit the same Cause if you see through the smoke stacks You’ll find calm in the shame They say You’d better play until the safety all makes way They say You’re better off keeping the animals at bay
11.
Saw that old post again A lack of focus But I treasure such a simpler time Young and bold A light that’s slowly fading Who’s right to question why? When it flayed our innocence, then so swiftly resigned My sight’s leveled again An eternity, but who’s counting? So I’ll call you the culprit But the damage is done Complicated, I’m sure But forgiveness always finds a way to run. Your burdened mind Maybe could have healed with just a little time We’ll seek out some closure For the ones who never said goodbye

about

“I’ve found that loss is a universal message with a variety of angles,” says Dikembe’s guitarist/vocalist Steven Gray. Muck, the fourth album from the Gainesville-based band, sees them at their most honest, accepting their darkest thoughts head-on, but never fully submitting.

Written as an intense version of therapy after Gray’s mother passed away, and with the most exhaustive and extensive recording process since their inception, Dikembe dug deep into the “sticky feelings” surrounding mental illness, depression and anxiety. Facing fear and an absence of hope, Muck accepts the harsh realities of life, and deals with the choices we have to make when faced with difficult decisions: “Why swim when you can sink?”

The loss of a parent, of a friend, of a mentor, someone taken too soon before you had a chance to say goodbye, accepting that sometimes there isn’t a resolution. Gray addresses these issues with an emotional clarity and searing honesty that forces you to take a deep look inwards, and figure out where you stand. It forces you to wade into the “muck,” and figure out who you really are. There are moments of hope (“Screw your head on straight/Then learn to love your lane” in “Stay Beat”), but they don’t last long: Gray urges the listener to “just retreat, it’s easier to stay beat,” as the song fades out with a big, dirty riff lifted straight out of classic rock.

Acceptance often isn’t easy or pretty, but it’s necessary. It’s hard and it’s dark, and Dikembe mimic this in their arrangements. Using live piano and strings for the first time, and including numerous modes of percussion and engineering techniques, Muck is the most sonically diverse and in-depth example of Dikembe’s musical prowess. They’re more-rounded and more confident, and they’re also heavier than they have ever been, thanks in part to the addition of Andrew Anaya (You Blew It!, Pool Kids) on lead guitar. David Bell’s signature drumming and his unconventional fills power Dikembe along, while bassist Randy Reddell is a consistent and solid backbone for Gray’s laments.

“At most I’m a ghost/So just send me down below” Gray sings on “Throat,” accepting his fate, while “Old Husks” sees him railing against the inconsistencies and hypocrisies in the music industry. “I don’t miss the days/Of being a pawn or a martyr in somebody’s imperfect game.” This shift in mindset, veering from nihilism to anger, is evident throughout. Dikembe are pissed, but they’re aware. It’s not self-pity, though. Dikembe and Gray know their flaws, and they are all too ready to own up to them. Even when trying to right a wrong, Gray still acknowledges that the outcome will be less than favourable - “breathe deep in an attempt to cultivate a perfect mess.”

With Muck, it feels like Dikembe are settled. They have found their place, they’ve acknowledged where they fit, and they’ve stopped fighting it. Far from depressing, though, that is a message of hope. We are consistently sold the lie that progression equals success, that if we’re not positive, we can’t move forward. Dikembe expel that myth and instead show that there is power in recognizing what you have. Your flaws are not something you should necessarily try and fix. They are you. You are them. It’s time you recognized it, and get deep in the muck alongside Dikembe. - Conor Mackie

** 20% of proceeds from the sale of this album will be donated to Grace Marketplace and the Cultural Arts Coalition, two vital charities that aim to benefit the lives of people in need in the Gainesville area. **
www.gracemarketplace.org
www.culturalartscoalition.org

credits

released August 19, 2020

Additional Vocals on Track 8 by Morgan Bell, Dakota Bell, & Austin Harrison.

Produced by Dikembe.

Engineered by Dave Pratka & David Bell.

Mixed by Marc J. Hudson.

Mastered by Carl Saff.

Recorded at Pulp Studios and Haunted Muscle Beach in Gainesville, FL.

Art by Josiah Lloyd.

Layout by Randy Reddell.

Released by Skeletal Lightning.

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