Dilly Dally is a Toronto-based alternative rock band formed by two high school friends, Katie Monks and Liz Ball. Katie and Liz both provide guitar for the band while Katie takes on vocals. Rounding out the rest of the band are Jimmy Tony on bass and Benjamin Reinhartz on drums. Dilly Dally is heavily influenced by bands such as The Pixies and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs but they certainly have a sound all their own. While Dilly Dally are totally grunge, they approach the genre in such a punk way that the result is a refreshing and immediate sound that is all over their debut record “Sore”.
One of the unique things about Dilly Dally may be one of the most difficult things to overcome for fresh listeners and that is Katie Monks’ voice. From the album opener “Desire” to the closer “Burned by the Cold”, Katie’s voice is raspy and sounds shredded to bits, but that’s not to say it doesn’t have its sweet moments. While of course Katie kills it when she is screaming hoarsely, when her vocals do die down in intensity there is a real prettiness to it. She has a dynamic range, though it may not seem obvious at first. My favorite vocal moments from her are when she is shouting, like her howls on “Witch Man” or when she is singing nonsense along with the melody in “Green” which quickly turns into shouts.
The guitar tones throughout “Sore” are a treat. The rhythm guitar is heavy and thick when distorted and pleasantly jangly on the clean tones. Liz Ball’s lead guitar is searing and her solos are always a great addition to the song by adding to the melody. The drums and bass are suitably pounding and have a lot of moments to shine. I really love the interludes of bass on the album such as in the song “Green” where about halfway through the song the bass goes off on this killer lead melody. If you pay attention to any instrument on this album there will always be something interesting going on.
There are a lot of great details in the songs which make them distinct from one another, to the deliberate guitar riff in “The Touch” to the driving rhythm in “Green”. “The Touch” is the song that got me hooked on Dilly Dally because of its melodic sensibilities, especially the descending riff that goes along with Katie’s singing. “Witch Man” is an awesome track which again is very catchy and has a great vocal performance. Another one of my favorites is “Ice Cream” which has a great beat and is a little more subdued compared to the rest of the album. The closer to the album “Burned by the Cold” is a proper ballad, with piano and everything. It isn’t my favorite moment but I appreciate that Dilly Dally are trying something different with it.
So, yeah, if it isn’t obvious enough I love this album and I love Dilly Dally. I cannot wait to see what they put out next because they are without a doubt one of my favorite bands in the grunge, punk, or rock genre period right now. I hope they are able to come out with just as a diverse and raw project in the future.