Over 4 albums, the High Dials have turned out a varied repertoire of anthemic pop, upbeat psych and melancholic folk-rock balladry. They’ve won high marks for their live performances from Brooklyn Vegan, Spin, Magnet and the New York Post, who listed them "a must-see band".
The band debuted on Rainbow Quartz in 2003 with "A New Devotion", a mishmash of retro-freakbeat sounds and shimmering psych with a hidden lyrical storyline. The album made a fan of Little Steven Van Zandt of Bruce Springsteen fame who played them heavily on his syndicated radio show and slotted them in with the Strokes, the Stooges, New York Dolls and other music legends at his Underground Garage Festival in 2004. Later that year, they opened for Sloan in Canada and toured the UK for the first time. They also released the "Fields in Glass EP which featured a dance remix of the title song by Pirates of the North Atlantic, aka Davy Love and Will Carruthers (ex-Spacemen 3).
"War of the Wakening Phantoms" (2005) was their follow-up album. Produced by Joseph Donovan (the Dears, Sam Roberts) and mixed in LA by Dave Bianco (Tom Petty, Frank Black, Teenage Fanclub), it won widespread rave reviews from such influential publications as NME, Spin and the Washington Post. The album went to number one on Canadian college radio charts and the High Dials supported the release as tour partners for both Brian Jonestown Massacre and Neko Case, criss-crossing North America and the UK several times.
In 2007, the band released "The Holy Ground EP", which featured a collaboration with Rod Argent, legendary songwriter of High Dials’ heroes The Zombies! That same year, they enjoyed mainstream exposure when their song "The Holy Ground" featured in a prominent nationwide ad campaign for Rogers mobile in Canada.
In 2008, the High Dials’ released their third LP "Moon Country" (Fontana North/Universal, 2008). Begun in a remote stone cottage in Ireland, the eclectic, sprawling double album showcased everything from droning dance grooves and spaced-out rock to wistful cosmic love songs! They hit the road in support of the record, a cycle that peaked with a memorable opening slot for Echo & the Bunnymen at SXSW 2009.
In 2010, they reunited with the label that gave them their start in the music world, Rainbow Quartz! To begin work on a new record, they built a home studio in an abandoned building that once belonged to the Canadian navy. The enormous space was still littered with naval artifacts, including old maps and a giant ship engine. Attracted by the beautiful natural reverb in the large admiral’s ballroom, they ignored its haunted reputation. Several supernatural experiences later, they wrapped up production and brought the recordings to Michael Musmanno (Lilys, Cadence Weapon) for mixing in New York City.
The resulting album, "Anthems for Doomed Youth" (Nov, 2010) is the band’s most authentic and mature work to date. It comes closest to capturing the energy of the band as they sound live. It’s also a snapshot of the band’s creative evolution, with triumphant returns to their jangly 60s roots as well as the moodier territory of later releases. It’s all packed into one punchy 40-minute, vinyl-length experience!
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What the press have said... (2003-2009)
“Gorgeous, dazzling - these guys slay me again.” The Globe & Mail (Canada)
"Clever but heartfelt lyrics and gorgeous pop melodies" Top 10 albums of 2008- Montreal Mirror
“Arguably their best work to date… The High Dials have put their heart into this record; the lyrics are passionate and the music moving.” Soundproof Magazine
“Country-tinged '60s-ish psych-rock, with great harmonies and occasional doses of druggy drone…They are fantastic live.” Top 10 albums of 2008 - Brooklyn Vegan
“Swirly psychedelic pop full of chiming guitars and dreamy vocals, swathed in echo and reverb…fuzzy space-rock and folk. Double your pleasure.” The Sun (Toronto)
“A first-rate pop group.” – The Ottawa Sun
“The songwriting remains excellent…power poppers drenched in treated, layered harmonies.” 4 stars – Eye Weekly (Toronto)
"(The High Dials) erect psychedelic pillars on a strong 60s pop foundation, from acid-soaked melodies to Madchester grooves to shoegazer resound-sound" – Exclaim (Canada)
"Psych pop perfection” 8/10 NME (UK)
“The golden era of Canadian cool continues apace” The Sun (UK)
One of 10 “must-see bands” at SXSW 2006 – The New York Post
“At times their sunburst melodies sound arena-big, at times they sound like elegies written in country churchyards next to the Hacienda club” Recommended - SPIN
10 best albums of 2005 – Washington Post