By Michael Grondin
CALGARY — Bands are often painted with the same brush as those used for their influences. This brush can colour interpretations before a group steps on a stage or records a song. Of course, while musical influences undoubtedly play a role in shaping one’s sound, lazily dropping a project in a communal bucket can seriously detract from your potential enjoyment.
Toronto’s Dilly Dally is one such act that is fighting for a semblance of individuality within a heavily saturated music scene. They are constantly slapped with comparisons to the projects past, and though they have been out of high school for some time, they are often framed as high-school friends who started a band and sound like the Pixies.
But what does that really mean? Well, to start, Dilly Dally are a band that have been busting ass and hustling to make things work. According to lead vocalist and guitarist Katie Monks, the project has come a long way since her and Dilly Dally co-member Liz Ball’s adolescent experimentation with music.
“This band didn’t start in high school. Me and Liz met each other in high-school, but we’re 26 now and we’ve been slugging it out in the city for six years, and we’ve been working shitty jobs and doing what all the other bands here are doing to make it work,” says Monks in a phone interview from Toronto.
Immersing themselves in the local music scene of Toronto is a huge aspect of what shaped Dilly Dally’s direction up to this point.
“It’s something we’ve been working on for a really long time. To me, this project was born out of the music we were listening to here in Toronto, and a lot of the bands here were a big part of that,” she says. “There was, and is, a lot of live music happening, and it’s going to shows religiously, and meeting people that has allowed us to cultivate our sound.”
Though they’ve aged beyond adolescence, their approach to music is still full of an energy and curiosity you can find in any basement teenage jam session. However, their precision and attitude speaks volumes, pummeling your eardrums. Fitting then, that they’ve released their first full-length album, Sore, on October 9th via Partisan Records. The 11-song powerhouse of gritty punk rock and wall-of-sound rock ‘n’ roll was produced in a frantic, yet fun 11 days. Ball and Monks are joined on the recording by Jimmy Tony (bass) and Benjamin Reinhartz (drums), giving Dilly Dally a full sound fraught with desire and desperation. Sore projects feminist ideals and healthy rage, wrapped in a twisted, black bubblegum package.
“What affects me about the album is all of the work that everyone else did, you know? Writing up the thank-you
“A record at the end of the day, a band at the end of the day is just a huge collaboration with a bunch of people. You need to have friends and you need to have people that believe in you.”
Monks is excited for what’s coming next for the burgeoning project.
“We don’t want to repeat history. What we’re trying to do is carve out our own place for Dilly Dally,” she says, cognizant of the Pixies comparisons.
“We’re big fans of a lot of shit, and there’s nods and references throughout the record but when people hear the it they’ll find references but they’ll also find pieces of who we are and what we want to bring to music.”
Dilly Dally will be playing The Good Will in Winnipeg on October 23 and Broken City in Calgary on October 25.AB, Alberta, Broken City, Dilly Dally, Manitoba, MB, The Good Will