Do Dilly Dally

For once in my life, I can advocate Dilly Dallying. Cue rim shot.

Dilly Dally’s new album Sore is great.

The Toronto four-piece’s newest album mucks around in a sort of dark ’90s Alternative-inspired rock that’s immediately familiar without being rote or banal.

Bully, Courtney Barnett and Hop Along all follow a similar formula of excellent female vocals+interesting lyrics+’90s rock to excellent effect, but Dilly Dally feels dangerous in a way those artists don’t.

Lead singer, Katie Monks,tends to snarl in a way that could be best described as Kim Deal appropriating Frank Black’s sneering howl.

The music also embraces the darker spectrum of the alternative influence. Sore has more in common with Laughing Hyena, Slint, Jaw Breaker and, of course, The Pixies (in “Bone Machine” mode) than with Dinosaur Jr. or Hole.

There’s also a good bit of influence from The Pretenders in the album’s spirit.

It doesn’t translate to the song’s sounds, but it’s hard not to think of Chrissie Hynde given Sore‘s frank depiction’s of female desire. This subversion of the status quo of the rock song as a male expression of lust is pretty much omnipresent on Sore.

Despite the dark tone and male-objectifying lyrics (“I want you naked in my kitchen, making me breakfast”) this album isn’t a bleak, psycho-sexual landscape.

There is definitely a strong vein of humor present in Sore, and the songs are always too melodic to be fully threatening.

Sore is an excellent addition to a year already boasting an embarrassment of strong, feminist rock records.

Recipe for an earworm

  1. Mournfully bay about your social status.
  2. Repeat Step 1
  3. Come precariously close to plagiarizing Ke$ha by reformatting the “Die Young” buildup with jangle guitar
  4. Stay somber, ethereal and detached
  5. Follow a classic loud-quiet-loud to tremendous affect
  6. Keep it under 2 minutes 30 seconds.

Place the song on repeat and listen until your ears bleed.