Like Trophy Scars (see elsewhere), The High Dials are hard to review, because the album is so meaty: you need lots of listens to appreciate it.
The High Dials are more poppy than the post-hardcore lot but both would score 9/10 if we did such things; The High Dials is one of those albums that’s playing happily in the background until you stop what you’re doing to think “Mmm, this is good…”
There is a link with the Springsteen-ish Scars though: one fan is Steven Van Sandt, who played them on his radio show and invited them to perform live.
The High Dials probably claim to be psychedelic pop. Opener Echoes and Empty is very New Order, with bass to the fore, metronomic beat and Bernard Sumner style vocals, though there’s some distorted guitar that pulls this away from just a New Order clone.
Desert Tribe is again reminiscent of New Order but poppier before Yestergraves heads off in a more indie direction, though Hooky would very much approve of the bass.
It’s not until track four, Impossible Things, that thoughts of New Order vanish, this being more a dance / pop tune, more U2 than anything. The instrumental Bar-room Fisher King is like nothing that preceded it, a slow, haunting piece of ambient music, perhaps meant as a turning point, as Flower On The Vine is more alt folk and Amateur Astronomer is a leftfield quirky pop tune, while DUI suggest they spent last summer listening to Doves. New Order to Doves: apart from both being from Cheshire East (Macc and Wilmslow) they’re poles apart musically.
It’s all rather glorious. The variation in sound might put some off and at 14 tracks it’s a bit long. We feel it will reward some effort, though. Out on 3rd February.