By Erin Wolf
Latest Flame Recordswww.thedials.us
Chicago’s The Dials debut album Flex Time is an exciting encounter in the already well-behaved genre of dance-band pop/rock. Snarling like the throttled vocals of Sleater-Kinney and equaling their growly, growly guitars, yet jumping off of dance-y influences such as early Joy Division and Franz Ferdinand and pure poppers such as the Go-Go’s , B52’s, and The Waitresses, The Dials are a motley crew of influences, indeed.
The lyrics are fun and pop-punchy in the same vein as The Ramones. In “Bye Bye Bye Bye Baby,” Crawford taunts, “You’ll be sitting pretty in your new shitty city with your new girlfriend / I can’t wait until it ends.” Crawford, Gran and Dennison trade vocal shrieks and sneers with the grace of well-executed high-school hallway insult swap. Flex Time is full of dynamic energy, the quartet slamming out notes and chords so fast, they threaten to self-combust. It’s dance music at its best for it has enough raw energy to not be coma-inducing, nor does it put on any airs – The Dials have a lighthearted yet raw and energizing sound, censored of any false pretences. VS