chicago bowls ep

A "Puff" Piece about Dikembe's Chicago Bowls EP

In “honor” of the widely celebrated, love-it-or-hate-it unofficial holiday that is 4/20, I wanted to take the opportunity to discuss and commend one of my favorite EPs in recent memory, Dikembe’s Chicago Bowls. Punny references to both Chicago basketball legends and weed culture aside, the 4-track EP is a brilliant introduction to the Gainesville quartet’s take on punk-via-late-90s emo sentiment, and a fitting lead-up to their debut full-length release, 2012’s Broad Shoulders.

From the EP’s introduction, complete with a Freaks and Geeks soundbite, the band barrels through four tracks in less than 10 minutes, leaving behind one of 2011’s best songs in second track “Luc Bongley,” and showcasing what is so impressive about Dikembe. Their sound isn’t indefinable necessarily, it simply moves easily into and out of genres and scenes without ever feeling like it could be pigeonholed to one style. The vocals are nasally without being whiny, the riffs are melodic without being noodle-y, and the lyrics are relatable without too much simplicity. Chicago Bowls succeeds by maintaining a level of effortlessness due to the casual, silly vibe of its song titles, and yet, upon deeper examination (and countless listens to Broad Shoulders), Chicago Bowls should be regarded for what it is, a sincere band just having a bit of fun on their first EP.

- Amanda Shively