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DILLY DALLY Heaven gets 8/10


Dilly Dally
Heaven
Partisan/Inertia

8/10

On first hearing Canadian alt-rock outfit Dilly Dally’s debut LP Sore back in 2015, a void of unknown existence was filled. Track on track of gritty gut-punching guitars and stompy rhythm with razor sharp vocals oozing passion and pain. It was abrasive emotional noise that was a joy to listen to and nothing short of addictive.

Sore was met with critical acclaim but following the release, various issues nearly saw the band’s demise. Overcoming those issues though, they rose from near death and pulled together to produce aptly named sophomore LP Heaven.

Sophomore LP expectations are somewhat hazy and always cloaked with possibilities. Thankfully, Heaven is on par with Sore, if not surpasses it. They’ve stayed true to their earlier sound but it’s the differences that take it up a notch, or down depending on how you listen. Like Sore but heavier in parts, softer in others. It’s the vocal depth of frontwoman Katie Monks that hit you in Sore and will again in Heaven.

Monks described Heaven as “doom metal vibes with lots of positive messages” and it’s certainly got that, a somewhat negative sound with a positive and uplifting vibe.

Opening with anthemic early single I Feel Free, the tone is set for the rest of Heaven. After a dreamy intro, Monks’ soft whispery vocals gradually evolve into those throaty wails over some pounding drums, taking you straight back to Sore. It’s a welcoming sound to returning fans reassuring that Dilly Dally is back and a strong intro for new listeners  undoubtedly an album favourite.

It’s not all doom and gloom in the sludgy drone drenched Doom. Despite its minimalist sound, there’s a few standout glitchy guitar treats thrown in there. The softer Believe still manages to sound heavy with its mellower but direct instrumentals and Monks’ toned-down cathartic vocals.

Celebration of sobriety Sober Motel kicks off with a distorted heavy intro with some punchy drums before delving back into a more soothing tone, with Monks’ vocals taking the spotlight. A slight sound change-up from Sore but it makes for a welcome addition. That sound is maintained though the melodic Sorry Ur Mad with its pulsing bassline before delving into the more chaotic rocker Marijuana.

Guitar heavy and all-round neat track Pretty Cold gives off a real Pixies vibe. It’s lyrically deep and dark with a cheerful melody and some neat guitar work, a short track but definite highlight. Bad Biology sees things slow right down again with a soothing rhythm and mellow vocals oozing frustration and angst from Monks, with the occasional slather of noisy chaos and wailing.

Penultimate title track Heaven is another neat mid-tempo number sounding straight off a Pixies album. Albeit, with Monks’ throaty vocals thrown in, it acts as a tidy closer that’ll leave you wanting more.

Dilly Dally’s journey to Heaven wasn’t without speedbumps but they pulled together and created something well worth tackling those bumps at speed. There’s an emotive energy to every track, Monks’ cathartic release imbedded within pulsing instrumentals. It’s a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows, with every level and emotion in-between.

Heaven offers elements of Pixies, Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Courtney Love and the likes, even hints of U2 in tracks like I Feel Free, albeit a grungier version. While there’s desirable elements from each, they’ve still created their own unique style for a sound that’s easy to dig. Heaven is undoubtedly going to be another defining album for Dilly Dally.

RYAN ELLIS

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