The High Dials
War of the Wakening Phantoms
Montreal’s High Dials return in a big way with their sophomore effort. But this psychedelic pop doesn’t indulge in 14-minute tunes, just 14 tunes period. And that means there’s a lot coming at you, clocking in at just over an hour. It’s hard to pare back the overgrowth to find the true blooms. But they’re there: “Soul in Lust” comes early and has some able Matt Murphy-like guitar work combining with dance-punk rhythm; “A River Haunting” sounds like it flows right from Motown. While there are little moments to enjoy here, the overall album doesn’t live up to expectations set by A New Devotion. And who decided to put the small, black type against dark green on the liner? Hard to read. This one may just get filed away too soon.