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 Post subject: K/Ranks 2006 - High Dials 'The War Of The Wakening Phantoms'
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 8:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 11:51 am
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UPDATE 2 Jan 13th 2006

New On The Chart


It’s with a choppy, Townsendian guitar riff that The High Dials open their latest LP ‘The War Of The Wakening Phantoms’ and as it turns out it’s an album that’s almost slavish in it’s devotion to all things Brit. For although hailing from Canada (Montreal to be exact) The High Dials are most definitely a band who’s ears have been cocked in the direction of the Atlantic Coast rather than on any sound emanating over the Great Lakes.

Over the course of its hour duration such examples of Anglo pilfery are in no short supply. From the encouraging opener, which retains some of the punch associated with its Mod originators, the album quickly becomes an fun execise in spot-the-homage.

Track three ‘Our Time Is Coming Soon’ recalls British psychedelia or, perhaps more recently, The Boo Radleys, with it’s driving yet trippy guitars and catchy chorus. ‘Sick With The Old Fire’ screams out “We can do The Stone Roses too” while next track along, ‘Master Of The Clouds’, could be straight off Teenage Fanclub’s ‘Bandwagonesque’ and since the track is near identical to ‘Alcoholiday’ from that same album (that steel guitar ‘disguise’ fools no one) the uncharitable might say that it actually is straight off ‘Bandwagonesque’.

The positively effervescent ‘A River Haunting’ is perhaps the highlight of the album, with Trevor Anderson’s Albarn like vocals adding a strange hybrid quality to music closer to a happy-clappy Belle & Sebastian tune, albeit one with a weird plastic sounding string section and stabs of sax. However on the downside ‘Your Eyes Are A Door’ stretches its Blurisms tauntly across an over ambitious 8 minutes.

The High Dials, then, offer nothing approaching originality or innovation. However, despite any criticisms that could be laid at the derivativeness of the material here, the band wear their influences proudly on their sleeves and the album, for the most part, is unpretentious, well executed and possess an infectious, simple, slow building charm that belies the second hand nature of the material here. Under those circumstances then it seems churlish to gripe at an album that more than exceeds its low horizons.

The High Dials ‘War Of The Wakening Phantoms’ scores 6.71 and enters Konstantiranks at no.2


Find out more about The High Dials here


1. the strokes - FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF EARTH 7.07
2. the high dials - WAR OF THE WAKENING PHANTOMS 6.71


He has arrived, the mountebank from Bohemia, he has arrived, preceded by his reputation.
Evil Dr. K "The Jimmy McNulty of Payment Protection Insurance"

Last edited by Evil Dr. K on Sun Feb 05, 2006 9:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 12:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 11:35 am
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Location: cincy
You did a little research.
I just thought it was a good cd.
It's interesting that it enters in last place.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:21 pm 
Still Big in Japan
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Location: Indie-anapolis
I just listened to a couple of songs of theirs the other day and really liked what I heard. Does anyone else have any thoughts about this album? Seems really catchy.

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