Band Website: www.myspace.com/thebanddial
Label: ProgRock Records
Label Website: www.progrockrecords.com
Release Date: 2007
The other day I received a batch of new CDs to review…not knowing what to expect I put the first one on, a disc entitledSynchronized by a band called Dial consisting of Swedish and Dutch members including former Pain of Salvation’s Kristoffer Gildenlow and art rockers Liselotte Hegt and Rommert van der Meer. The stated objective of the band Dial was to create music with no genre restrictions or create as they called it a “forum for musical creativity.” Again having no foreknowledge of the music, I was still a little surprised at what was coming out of the speakers.
The first track on Synchronized, “Beautiful” is a mix of aggressive, crunchy, minor guitar chords, female vocals and strange percussive sound effects but assembled in such a way that the melody of the composition was very evident. I was intrigued. Then the second track, “Sadness” was more of traditional acoustic or power ballad featuring plaintive male vocals and lots of beautiful Mellotron. Track three “Jewel” is back to the female vocals run through an effect, backed up with heavy guitar providing the crunch. Track four “Candyland” starts off sounding very much like something Kate Bush would offer with a vaudeville show-tunes musical style featuring tack-piano and a quirky Broadway musical melody. And so it goes through the CD’s eleven tracks. Most of the songs are in the four-five minute range. Each of the tracks goes in a different direction, never giving any hint of what’s to come. One will be in more of a guitar oriented pop-rock style, while the next will be more avant-pop. The idea of a musical forum is evident given the varied nature of these compositions. One would be hard-pressed to say that Dial has a musical style. In fact I’m guessing they worked real hard with the songs on Synchronized to avoid that. The only thing that joins all the songs together is an overarching sense of moodiness, melancholy and even a bit of gloom.
The music of Dial is clearly and most obviously Art-Rock, not really Progressive Rock as we have come to know it or in the traditional sense. Each song here incorporates an atypical style of composition and many include atypical instruments such as Mandolin or cello. The music of Dial is melodic, quirky, atmospheric, catchy, moody, and as such makes Synchronized a very captivating and enjoyable listen.