Canadian alt-rock-grunge gurus Dilly Dally are back and are fiercer than ever with their gritty second album Heaven. Their previous album Sore was released 3 years ago – I swear the time between album releases feels much longer than real-time. Heaven was most definitely worth the wait. The nine track album is a turbulent trip of drenched feedback and beyond raw vocals, topped off with some fuzzy guitar riffs and punk-style undertones. Dilly Dally are a mean concoction of angst, Joan Jett’s fierceness and hypnotic lyricism.
Opening track ‘I Feel Free’ was the first single to be released and what a teaser for the upcoming record. It’s a tale of two halves with Katie Monks’ raspy growl embedded with a backdrop of a dreamy shoegaze-esque riff then develops into a manic screeching ensemble of intoxicating guitar riffs and reverb. Katie’s diverse vocal range can vary from a Bjork whisper to a blood curdling scream which is unlike any female vocalist I’ve come across, think Alanis Morissette crossed with Kim Gordon and throw in a bit of hard rock for good measure. ‘I Feel Free’ sets the scene perfectly for the next gutsy tracks.
‘Doom’ begins with a slurred guitar riff and the lyric ‘if I make it’, repeated throughout the track in a ritualistic way, this number will definitely have you under their spell. There are echoes of prog with jaunty riffs and dark crashing drums, this song is best to scream along to in the mosh pit. Next track ‘Believe’ is coated in fuzzy guitar sound with the lyrics ‘believe in yourself’ being delivered in a slow and slurred manner, lingering on every syllable. Glimmers of bass over a hypnotic fuzz sound, all amalgamating to a manic jam which ends in a banshee like scream and plenty of distorted feedback.
‘Sober Motel’ is a textbook Dilly Dally tune, a drenched and deafening feedback sound with Katie’s trademark screech over some Pearl Jam-esque riffs. ‘Sorry Ur Mad’ opens with a gentle riff and rich bassline, the offbeat drum patterns offer a different side to Dilly Dally and their alt-rock back catalogue. A much more lighter number in comparison to the other grunge tunes on the album however it’s still very quitisesstial Dilly Dally, don’t worry there’s still plenty of dark distortion and howling involved.
Fluxuative track ‘Marijuana’ is a rollercoaster of rock riffs, lulled vocals and a structure which definitely took me by surprise. If there’s one thing that Dilly Dally nail on this album, it’s bringing the mood to an almost ethereal height with soothing sounds before demolishing them with an almighty screech and crash. ‘Marijuana’ is the perfect example of Dilly Dally charming us and then burning all our possessions. Shortest track on the album ‘Pretty Cold’ packs a punch, it has a Sonic Youth feel to the main riff and is a much more dancy tune in comparison to the others which are predominantly alt-grunge driven. A diverse track which still fits within the realms of the album.
‘Bad Biology’ begins with a dark and broody intro with whispered lyrics, a heavy riff then kicks in followed the same structure to ‘Marijuana’. Dilly Dally have us lingering on every beat, anticipating the surprise that’s to come. This also has some of the more experimental vocal choices, echoing a Yoko Ono style. The nine track epic comes to a close with a memorable end to an album in the form of title track ‘Heaven’. Colourful and poppy riffs, a steady drum beat and an epic ending makes for a catchy finale.
A genre bending album and I have no doubt it’ll be a seminal piece of work within the alt-rock scene. Heaven will be released on 14th September from Partisan Records.