FiveSidedDice, the multi-dimensional rock/punk/hip-hop band from South Africa, has a new EP, “Baggage,” which consists of 5 unique, catchy, and smooth tracks. The EP blends elements of multiple different genres, yet they all flow together so flawlessly that it feels like FiveSidedDice created a new genre. All five songs tell other stories but all have the element of changing, evolving, and “baggage” in the background; the changing comes in different shapes and forms: changing states, mindset, etc. No matter what change is coming to you, we all come with some sort of baggage.
The talent behind FiveSidedDice: Roscoe Nefdt, the lead vocalist, who also plays guitar, percussion & synthesizer. On “Baggage”, featured artists include Tiago Vital on Bass guitar in “Another Night, Another Tragedy” & “Killmusic”, and trombone on “Killmusic”. Chester Summerton plays the Tenor Saxophone on “Killmusic” and “Running Out of Life”, and Lucas “Lookie” Banzi has vocals/rap on “Running out of Life”.
The EP begins with “Another Night, Another Tragedy” (feat. Tiago Vital), a hard-hitting pop-punk song with an element of hip hop. Peaceful guitars, smooth drums, and Nefdt’s Genuinely unique voice: effortlessly switching from low-toned voice to singing, even screaming (Nefdt’s range is awe-inspiring). The track is about life in South Africa, specifically suburban and city life. Nefdt comments on how growing up turns us cynical, as well as being a commentary on crime in the country.
This track is followed by “Killmusic,” a perfect shift from the previous “Another Night, Another Tragedy.” “Killmusic” is more on the hip-hop side of things, with even elements of reggae. The track itself is a comment on how hip-hop tracks are lacking meaning now, which is 100% true. People don’t even listen to lyrics anymore; all they care is if it’s catchy: “It doesn’t matter what you say in the verse, they just bop their heads, they don’t listen to the words” are lyrics that come out of the track. Nefdt quietly raps; you have to listen to the lyrics to really hear what he’s saying, which makes “Killmusic” a truly thought-out track.
The EP then shifts from complete rap to a jazz/blues/hip-hop track with “Running Out Of Life” (feat. Lookie Banzi on vocals and Chester Summerton on the saxophone), which is about growing up in a small town and everything that comes with it. The EP then shifts its focus again with the last two songs on the list, “Unfit” and “Leaving,” which have modern rock vibes. “Unfit” features soaring guitars and Nefdt’s wide-ranging voice, whereas “Leaving” highlights Nefdt’s singer-songwriter ability. It is the perfect conclusion to the rather intense EP, with a simple, beautiful track: melodic guitars and Nefdt’s calm voice.
“Baggage” is an EP that shows the band’s multi-talented range, showcasing different genres and techniques to make such special music. Meaningful lyrics, soaring instruments, and ultra-addicting: “Baggage” is an EP with something for everyone.
Written by Melissa Cusano