The Dials
February 3, 2007
Double Door
Chicago, IL

By: Andrew Lyman

I took in a show by Chicago’s own Dials the other week at the Empty Bottle. I was coerced out of the house by allegations of a powerhouse power-pop band of punky chicks intent on kicking out the jams. What I got was similar, but not exactly up to my expectations. Punky chicks, and jam-kicking abounds, the Dials effortlessly spurn out compulsively pogo-able, stripped-down ditties of the general sort of angst we have come to expect from all walks of music. They are catchy, hum-able, and are clearly out to have a good time. The kids (or more curiously in this case, the older folks) certainly seem to have fun with them. I don’t think I’ve seen that much pogoing since, well, ever.

Good fun and all, I must draw the line short of proclaiming my utter devotion to the Dials at this point. They stealthily mash together some Entertainment era Gang of Four and the early nineties likes of Veruca Salt or Sleater- Kinney, with the modern day sass of Le Tigre, but aren’t as compelling or powerful as any of the respective components. The parts are better than the sum. That is not to say that this isn’t a matter that needs to go uncorrected. For one, it would be a shame to have that killer vintage bass go to waste. And secondly, hidden in the predictable pulse of Dialed up power chords, there is some genuinely fun stuff. If they can focus in on that, and/ or just kick the jams just a little harder, preferably in the face, then we might have a rocking good band on our hands. In the meantime, definitely check them out if you’ve got a bunch of jumping stuck in you and need to get it out quick!




All opinions expressed by Andrew Lyman are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of Stay Thirsty Media, Inc.