Posted by: on July 3, 2008 at 4:20 pm

The Dials, Amoeba Amore (No Fun Records, 2008)

MP3: “Antonio”

From the Buzzcocks’ “What Do I Get?” to Green Day’s “Nice Guy’s Finish Last,” when done right, punk’s grit and fire have always fit nicely with pop’s melodic thrust. Chicago’s the Dials know this all too well, as they’ve spent the better part of the last six years seamlessly melding buzzsaw guitars with hard-candy melodies that reference everybody from sugar-pop princesses the Go-Go’s and riot grrrl pioneers Sleater-Kinney, to electro-punk godfathers Magazine and squiggle skronkers Devo. Three ladies front the four-piece outfit, but if you’re expecting cutesy-pie crush songs and glimpses into Hello Kitty-adorned diaries, you’ll likely be shocked when their aggressive fuck-you pop kicks you square in the teeth. Amoeba Amore, the band’s third record, comes to us post some unfortunate trauma, as original drummer Doug Meis was tragically killed in a car accident in 2005. So you can’t blame the band for getting a bit darker, angrier, and more angular this time around. Opener “Antonio” — propelled by new drummer and ex-Sarge skinsman Chad Romanski’s precise bashing — rages and grooves like Bikini Kill covering the Clash’s “Clash City Rockers.” Other tracks, like “Amoeba Amore” and “3 is Better Than 4,” hit the same shrill heights mined by 70s post-punks X-Ray Spex and the Au Pairs, but also nod to modern day dick kickers Mika Miko, Erase Errata, and You Say Party! We Say Die!. But, just as things seem like a rehash of the Rough Trade catalogue circa 1979, the Dials switch it up, and get back to adding a bit more pop to their punk. “Joe Lies” could be a lost Ramones track, and “Happy Afterall” imagines bouncy Cure-esque guitar lines playing catch up with the kind of speedy delivery that Husker Du would come up with. But whichever way they go, the Dials find a way to sink their hooks in deep, whether they’re bashing you over the head with ‘em, or cheerfully shouting them in your face. This is the kind of pop-punk that you shouldn’t be ashamed to dig. — Ryan Allen

The Dials • CD Release Show w/ The Coronados and The Dial Tones • The Belmont • 7/3/08

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Posted by: on June 25, 2008 at 4:30 pm

Swiping their keyboards from Brainiac’s Hissing Prigs in the Static Couture and their vocal stabs from 1970s punk icons X-Ray Spex and the Adverts, Montreal’s Dutches Says squiggle and squeal their way through “Ccut Up” with a feverish flair. If the rest of their new album, Anthologie des 3 Perchoirs — to be released September Read more

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