10 p.m. Saturday, July 12. Way Out Club, 2525 South Jefferson
By Jaime Lees
Published on July 09, 2008
The Dials have a history of creating hooked-out, grooving pop tunes. The Chicago quartet’s debut full-length, 2005’s Flex Time, was a pop revelation. However, the band members’ combined talent was never as apparent as it is on the new album, Amoeba Amore. Amore takes the band’s trademark sound — girl-group sugar on top of dirty garage spice — and layers on tighter thumps and speedy riffs. Add to that buzzes, pops and bouncy hiccuping, and the results feel like the band took only the best parts out of pop music history (’60s harmonizing vocals, ’70s blaring guitars, ’80s new wave synth licks) and squished them all together. And while the albums are impressive, the live show is where the band proves its worth: The Dials make it look disgustingly easy (and fun) with an energetic show that gets heads boppin’, feet tappin’ and even a few devil horns thrown.
The Dials are little balls of fury masquerading as a bitchin’ Chicago quartet. On their latest release, Flex Time, these three girls and one boy manage to find the middle ground between power-pop royalty and frenzied garage blasting. Live, the Dials feed audiences a sound that’s like dirty gravel disguised beneath layers of glazed pastry: Emily Dennison’s fingers skip happily across the Farfisa, balancing the straight shredding by guitarist Patti Gran, as candy-coated sing-along verses explode into fuzz-covered choruses. In other words, the band plays as though it’s been wound-up tight and waiting to unfurl. As always, a spoonful of sugar helps the big-blasting medicine go down.