Review: Dilly Dally channels a ’90s sound on “Sore”

3.5 OUT OF 5 NUTS!

dillydally-soreDilly Dally won me over before I even finished listening to the album due to the fact that they have an old school 16-bit fighting game on their official web site. It turned out to be kind of fitting, given that Dilly Dally’s music feels born of that era. Drawing numerous comparisons to The Pixies, Dilly Dally delivers 90s-style alt-rock with an attitude.

The Toronto foursome’s full-length debut Sore arrived with a fair amount of hype, and after a few listens, it becomes apparent the album generally lives up to it for the most part. Lead singer Katie Monks delivers acidic, howling vocals in a scratchy voice that’s a part Courtney Love and part Kurt Cobain, while Liz Ball on guitar, Jimmy Tony on bass and Benjamin Reinhartz on drums bring the musical muscle that ties it all together. It can be an acquired taste, but over time all the pieces come together to create a satisfying listening experience.

Dilly Dally hits the mark with sludgy grunge tracks such as “Snake Head,” “Purple Rage,” and “Witch Man,” but perhaps the group is at their best when they kick things up a notch. “The Touch” is one such track where the band lets it loose and rocks out, and it’s terrific.

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Sore brings a solid level of quality from start to finish, although Monks’ raspy voice may take some getting used to for some listeners. The opening track “Desire” and the beautiful closing track “Burned by the Cold” in particular are two songs where the wails might be off-putting at first, but as is the case with the album in general, patience is a virtue as it all comes together in time.

Overall, Dilly Dally creates a sound that would have fit seamlessly into the ’90s alt-rock scene while still sounding exciting today. Maybe they’re coming along 20 years or so after their time, but they also do a great job of capturing the essence of what the rock scene was like a couple decades ago. Sore brings back memories of what made that era unique while at the same time creates the energy and attitude of that time period for a new generation.

Release Date: October 9, 2015

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