Dikers was formed in the city of Iruña (Pamplona in spanish), Nabarra, in 1998. The band consisted of lead vocalist and guitarist Iker Piedrafita — the son of guitarist Alfredo Piedrafita, a member of the legendary Navarrese rock band Barricada –, bassist Iñaki Urroz, drummer Rikar Martínez and guitarist David Cuesta. Like almost all bands out there, Dikers has undergone several changes in its line-up, but the music remained an eclectic blend of rock, punk, and pop with some touches of metal. After the release of their album Carrusel in 2008 and the completion of their tour to promote the album, Iker Piedrafita announced the band would be taking a hiatus and he turned his attention to another project. He co-produced Barricada’s 18-tracks album La Tierra esta Sorda (The Earth is Deaf) and played with the band during the touring and promotion of the album. Piedrafita also turned up guesting on other bands. In 2011 Iker decided to reorganize Dikers and recruited drummer Sergio Izquierdo (Big Member, Polaris, Max Estrella) and bassist Ubaldo Puente (Petazetas, Sok, Dkuajo), solidifying the lineup to date.
Dikers’ latest album Casi nunca llueve (Almost never rains), produced by Iker Piedrafita and released March 6, is a compilation of 12 tracks that prove that things aren’t always a bed of roses when you lose touch with constants like friends, lovers, homes and stable jobs. But there are also plenty of contrasts – quiet and loud moments to match the feelings of distance and detachment from your previous life (the title track Casi nunca llueve, an awesome rock ballad) with a common thread being the warm vocals and creativity underpinning the music.
The album, recorded, mixed and mastered by Iker Piedrafita in his home studio, is filled with mid-tempo intense punk rock sounds shifting between quiet verses and loud choruses, ballads that are catchy and melodic, and a skillful and dynamic rap song – El temporal (The storm). As in most of the tracks, lyrics are sharp and the songwriters know how to write a good hook.
Other artists that collaborated in the album include Da2’s Fredi Piedrafita Valero Corazon de trapo (Heart in rags) and El temporal (The storm), Marea’s Kutxi Romero Casi nunca llueve (Almost never rains), enBlanco’s Enrique Cabezon Mil bocas sin nombre (Thousand mouths with no name), and Alfredo Piedrafita Tan dificil de engañar (So difficult to deceive), a guitar solo towards the end of the song.
After a few times through this record I was impressed by how diverse they are musically. Dos pasos (Two steps), a mid-tempo with intense, loud choruses. Tan dificil de engañar (So difficult to deceive), a definite highlight on this record, features interesting rhythm changes, with guitarist Alfredo Piedrafita sculpting evocative manifestations and lofty musical circles around the listener. The album’s first single, Corazón de trapo (Heart in rags) starts off with a rather quiet melody, an exhubertant piano ditty, and some nice interplay between the vocals (Piedrafita and Ubalde) – before a storm of heavy drums and strong bass sounds, and Iker Piedrafita’s vocal range that is simply stunning. Interestingly, the song is about growing up and not necessarily improving. Absurda realidad (Absurd reality), a sort of protest song, shows a flair for pop hooks and the track impresses with powerful guitar. The nostalgia card is also played up big and joyfully.Lo que queda atras (What is left behind) is a tale of shared memories with Dikers’ former members, a token of appreciation by the band’s frontman.
Despite the difficulties with changes in its lineup, Dikers seem to be one of those bands that knew what rock music made with guitar, bass and drums could actually sound like – and in the long run they acquired a distinctive sound. By contrast, other bands that wanted to make uniform-sounding records seeking cohesion, and attempted to build an atmosphere where we know the exact band and album we’re listening to, also created something repetitious and tad staid.
Dikers are not new kids on the block, they had been part of Europe’s music scene for quite some time. Their homeland, Nabarra, has been dubbed as having something in the water, due to the large number of quality artists coming from the region. Casi nunca llueve (Almost never rains) confirmed these musical partners to be a rich and fluid lot – the result is music that is no less powerful than before with the versatile trio producing varied songs that take in all sorts of genres from punk and rock to fuzzy guitar-based songs and metal. The staggering fact is that with only three of them they can produce more diversity that some acts can achieve with four or five different individuals. It’s all quite remarkable and shows how clever and original they can be at negotiating their influences and using their talent and dexterity to make things their own.
Casi nunca llueve(Almost never rains) is unlikely to win over every listener with all its tracks, as there’s much variation on offer to appease everyone. However, you have to admire the band’s creativity, the fact that they realize they write songs that have different vibes, feelings and emotions and that it is okay to embrace and roll with it all. As such, they have produced an intricate and vital record that is extremely accessible and melodic and will prove itself in time to be the gift that keeps on giving. In short, Dikers has grown up and come out a little older, somewhat wiser, and the band seem prepared to give their best.
1. Absurda realidad (Absurd reality) Lyrics and music by Iker Piedrafita
2. Corazón de trapo (Heart in rags) Music by Iker Piedrafita. Lyrics by Fredi Piedrafita Valero and Iker Piedrafita.
3. Dos pasos (Two steps) Lyrics and music by Iker Piedrafita
4. Casi nunca llueve (Almost never rains) Music by Iker Piedrafita. Lyrics by Kutxi Romero
5. Como un circo ambulante (Like a travelling circus) Lyrics and music by Iker Piedrafita
6. Lo que queda atrás (What is left behind) Lyrics and music by Iker Piedrafita
7. Tan difícil de engañar (So difficult to deceive) Music by Iker Piedrafita. Lyrics by Sergio Izquierdo (Dikers’ drummer)
8. Nada (Nothing) Lyrics and music by Iker Piedrafita
9. El temporal (The storm) Music by Iker Piedrafita. Lyrics by Fredi Piedrafita Valero
10. Qué desastre (What a mess) Lyrics and music by Iker Piedrafita
11. Una última vez (One last time) Lyrics and music by Iker Piedrafita
12. Mil bocas sin nombre (Thousand mouths with no name) Music by Iker Piedrafita. Lyrics by Enrique Cabezón ‘KB’