Review: High Dials Yestergraves EP

High Dials HIgh Dials

Stop lying to yourself; everybody knows the best music is coming out of Montreal. Let’s start with the High Dials Yestergraves EP:

(This is the part where I make a bunch of musical comparisons, so if you don’t like that sort of thing then skip over this part. Actually, never mind, I’m going to skip over this part too.)

Anyway, the High Dials took me by surprise: I’m never very hopeful about bands described as “power pop” or “indie rock.” But hey, never judge a band by its Wikipedia write up. (No. Never, ever do that.)

[soundcloud url=”″ params=”color=ff5500″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

The track Echoes and Empty Rooms creates a feeling as wistful as the title describes. There is definitely some sweet Johnny-Marr guitar work happening on this track (damn, I was really going to try and avoid doing the whole “These-guys-sound-like-those-guys” thing, but there you are).

[soundcloud url=”″ params=”color=ff5500″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Evil Twin kinds of reminds me of going to Cuba with a Cassio, and it feels like there is an electronic-conflict happening, if just in subject matter alone. Trevor Anderson’s vocals on this one remind me of someone waking up the morning-after, surveying the mess, and trying to reconcile all the sadness inside.

Big things come in small packages, so they say, and Yestergraves EP is kind of like that, only less cliché.
The title track kind of reminds me of this weird Blaxploitation film I watched for the Easter Holiday. Called Brother from Another Planet, it was about this black alien-man who finds himself in Harlem and has to battle junkies and white people; it was made in 1984 and has a pretty killer soundtrack consisting of fat bass lines and some serious 80’s jams.

Yestergraves feels like it’s in that same vein; for the most part, modern bands that try to go for the whole 80’s thing leave me feeling apathetic, and even slightly nauseous, but The High Dials are cool. They have enough style to get away with reminding me of weird movies, and that most definitely wasn’t what they were going for anyway (80’s jams and alien movies, I mean).

As a whole, the EP is dreamy and a great reminder that incredibly cool music exists in Montreal.

About Ceilidh Michelle

ceilidh michelle is a musician and novelist. She has contributed to CULT Montreal, Vancouver Weekly and Social Coast, among others, and also has a column with Band Mark called True Currency. More Posts