By and large, dilly dallying isn’t particularly productive. It stalls, it procrastinates, it aimlessly dawdles and it enrages power-walking commuters. If there’s one thing clear from this Toronto rabble’s debut album, it’s that they’re at complete odds with their name. Messy and sandpaper-edged Dilly Dally may be, but that’s not the same thing as indecisive. On the contrary, ‘Sore’ sets out with a goal and cleanly hits the bullseye.
Originally masterminded by school friends Katie Monks and Liz Ball, Dilly Dally sprung out of a potent brew of teenaged malaise, a shared love of grunge stalwarts the Pixies, and a penchant for angsty poetry scrawled in battered notebooks. Sure, these are core ingredients fueling hundreds of fledgling bands, but Dilly Dally seem to have a sense of focused attack that sets them apart.
Frontwoman Katie Monk is in lethal possession of the sort of gnarled, scratchy, drawled vocal that would make Fame Academy’s own Carrie Grant wince with consternation, and as with everything Dilly Dally put their minds to, it’s incredibly, messily, versatile.
On ‘Next Gold,’ Monk urges forwards slalom-skateboarding guitar lines, before the band burst out into euphoric, careering whoops. ‘Desire’ snarls and lags interchangeably, drawling odd little sentiments like “milky waves are fallin’ from her eyes.” And then, to cap things all off, the clapped-out fuzz-piano of ‘Burned By the Cold’ bundles into sight; a yelped, twisted, and strangely touching closer. With ‘Sore’ Dilly Dally prove themselves as a hungry, relentless band ready to make a lasting mark.