Personnel: Katie Monks (vocals, guitar); Liz Ball (guitar); Benjamin Reinhartz (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Rob Schnapf.
Photographer: Thomas Van Der Zaag.
If Dilly Dally had any sense at all, they'd take a crash course in physics, devote all their energies to making time travel a reality, and then zip back to 1992, when every major label in America would be promising them the world to sign them to a record deal. With their masses of huge fuzzy guitars and dinosaur-stomp rhythms tagged to tunes that are hum-along poppy and woozily shoegaze-ish at the same time, with semi-comprehensible vocals alternately whispered and screamed over it all, Dilly Dally sound like the great lost grunge-era band, a mix of the Pixies and Hole with a frontwoman just as noisy as Courtney Love but significantly more likable (or at least less threatening). Dilly Dally's first full-length album, 2015's Sore (it even sounds like the title of a grunge-era LP), has more than a few great tunes, including the semi-swaggering "Purple Rage," the noisy but curiously sensuous "Desire," and the quick-stepping "Green," but in the long run this album gets over on sounds rather than songs. But the sounds are consistently great, as Liz Ball's wiry lead guitar lines bounce over the thick walls of skronk generated by Katie Monks (who also contributes the larynx-abusing vocals), while bassist Jimmy Tony and drummer Benjamin Reinhartz hold down the rhythms with impressive skill, sounding just loose enough to join in on the chaos but with enough discipline to keep the whole thing from slipping off the rails. The production by Josh Korody and Leon Taheny (abetted by Rob Schnapf's mix) is just what this music needs, roomy while adding only as much dirt as needed, and if much of the time it's hard to suss out just what Monks is on about, the many emotional twists and turns are clear enough that they suit the buzz of this music just fine. Sadly, in 2015 Dilly Dally are less likely to get a six-figure advance than they could have in the wake of Nevermind, but then again, they're a lot less likely to get dumped after Album Number Two fails to click at radio, so perhaps their exile in the 21st century isn't a bad thing after all. And they have a fine consolation prize in Sore, an album that's a noisy, abrasive joy from front to back. ~ Mark Deming