Dilly Dally Sore

Dilly Dally Sore
Dilly Dally's debut album is a hulking mass of sound that comes crashing down on listeners, a la the Pixies' loud-quiet-loud aesthetic. Standing at ground zero is singer-guitarist Katie Monks, her ragged voice at once vulnerable yet seething with rage, the grounding force for her band mates' cacophonous noise.

Dilly Dally are part of a loose collection of Toronto bands reclaiming early '90s punk and noise rock from the clutches of modern rock radio programmers; groups like Odonis and HSY have pushed the needles deep into the red, reminding the city — and anyone else who'll listen — that squalling guitars and well-placed rage once fell under indie rock's wide umbrella too. On Sore, Dilly Dally do their peers one better, delivering a tight and taut collection of songs that puts songwriting on equal footing as noise, the careful balance achieved with the help of producers Josh Korody (Greys) and Leon Taheny (Final Fantasy), who make both the band and Monks' voice sound massive without letting one overtake the other.

Monks' vocals go a long way to separating Dilly Dally from their influences, luring listeners in only to bite the hand of those who get too close. But anyone who's spent time exploring the catalogues of the late '80s/early '90s indie underground will have no trouble playing "spot the influence" — Sonic Youth and the Breeders make out particularly well here — and that overly familiar sonic territory might be a deal breaker for some.

Still, Sore feels like the culmination of something that's been bubbling under in the city, the perfect marriage of pop craftsmanship and violent anger. (Buzz)