Dilly Dally’s name is a red herring. The Toronto four-piece certainly
don’t mess about when they belt out their heavy melodic songs that boast
layers of swampy noise and exciting pop hooks.
The two leaders of the group, Katie Monks and Liz Bell, bonded over a mutual love for the Pixies and other bands. It’s apparent on this, their debut album,
which plays out like a fun game of joining the dots of the Canadian four-piece’s adored acts.
Dilly Dally Sore There are hints of The Smashing Pumpkins during the smouldery opener, ‘Desire’,
Dilly Dally Sore Breeders-esque riffs on ‘Purple Rage’, and ‘Ballin Chain’ showcases enthralling blasts of noise that Sonic Youth would have been proud of.
Despite following the template of their heroes with quiet-loud-quiet
song structures they manage to avoid sounding outdated thanks to Monks’ invigorating snarl that gives their grunge-pop everlasting energy.
‘Sore’ may not break any new ground but there are plenty of left turns and
invigorating twists that make Dilly Dally’s
debut album more than just a case of spotting the ’90s alt rock influences… and some of that too.
That sense of restlessness, of desperation to create, is palpable in Wand’s music.
For example, ‘1,000 Days’ eschews any kind of intro or establishing track, choosing instead just to pile straight into an ascending set of rubbery
chords that run away into squiggly synth work within 30 seconds; a song that, on any other album, would be track six or seven.
Even slower, grander moments aren’t immune – second track ‘Broken Sun’
starts elegantly enough, but it’s not long before a key change arrives alongside heavy-heavy sludge guitar,
followed by that most prog-psych recipe for epicness, the synthetic choir.
It’s a terrifically buffeting, dense experience, being in such an everchanging, almost haphazard musical space, especially given the relative brevity of Wand’s songs.
But, suggests Hanson, that’s sort of the point: “If you put a load of paint in a can with a bomb and then blew it up in a room,
you’d get a different effect depending on the size of the room.” It’s a pleasing way to imagine Wand’s songwriting process, all Jackson Pollock chaos and giddy free-expression.
Unfortunately, though, the analogy might be a touch misleading: for all the suggested lack of imprecision, the effect is no accident at all.
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