Released by No Fun Records
At first The Dials may appear a little pretty. They have that basic rock band look with four cats playing the crap out of their instruments. But upon further examination there is much more beneath the surface.
The Dials bring a goulash of power punk, no wave and new wave and then fuse it with surf instrumental textures with riot girl sensibilities. Sonically crisp and lyrically smart the band can pretty much do what they please within the oeuvre of power pop music. And they do so with great bravado on their gutsy and gritty 2nd full length album, Amoeba Amore.
“Antonio,” is a snarling opener that mixes eye liner with fisticuffs as it thrashes about. The title track, “Amoeba Amore,” is crunchy indie rock offering with terrific mixed harmonies from vocalists Rebecca Crawford and Emily Dennison. “3 Is Better Than 4” is a surfy ditty complete with nifty hand claps and grinding guitars. “Sharp Teeth” and “18” are two slices of fantastic bouncing girl pop. Prog rock keyboards kick start “Bloodsucker,” a mid 80s sounding tale of love gone bad. There is a Breeders-like feel to “Happy After All” and “Joe Lies” which provides some balance to the tone of the album. Their take on Foreigner’s “Urgent” stands out, adding a Devoesque flavor to the original by layering the song in keys and snappy percussion.
[ad#longpost]Since forming in 2002, this Chicago quartet has endured a lot. In addition to the usual band travails of steady touring, recording and getting the beat to the street The Dials dealt with the sudden death of drummer Doug Meis on the eve of the release of their debut, Flex Time.
Where as some bands would have cashed it in at that point The Dials took these toils and tribulations to heart and turned them inward. By persevering onward they condensed musically and matured. This unyielding determination has shaped them musically and allowed them to focus on making well crafted pop that crosses musical configurations.
Amoeba Amore is a giddy record. It may be the coolest high school record of the year. That is meant as a compliment because it’s one of those albums that easily fits in within those great post-detention, hanging in the parking lot albums that you played over and over and over in youth. To a certain extent, Amoeba Amore is both a nostalgic record and an invigorating collection of tightly crafted pop songs that can ease any idle day.