[6 August 2014]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
For the Steve Adamyk Band’s latest record, they enlisted Warm Soda/Bare Wires’ Matthew Melton to record the album. So, yeah, it’s easy enough to hear the influence of West Coast garage rock. But this is hardly Adamyk and company falling in line behind Thee Oh Sees and other in vogue acts. Instead, with Melton’s help, the band hones its own punky pop sensibility into the group’s tightest, most infectious set yet. The album is full of catchy gems, from “Careless” with its peak-to-valley guitar runs over crunching chord progressions to the lean, sinewy aggression of “Crash Course in Therapy” or “Last in Town”.
Dial Tone rarely breaks from its fuzzy formula, but it doesn’t really need to. Despite the hazy fidelity here, the faint buzz that coats these songs doesn’t distract from the tight interplay of the band’s members. These 13 songs deliver straight-ahead, no-nonsense rock and roll for under 30 minutes, and yet there’s something about this album that feels faintly grand. Maybe it’s the irrepressible energy that blooms out of each frenetic tune. With other great acts like Sonic Avenues (who lends a player, Sebastien Godin, to the proceedings here), Dirtnap has been making a name for itself, and Dial Tone continues two winning streaks: one for the label, and one for the Steve Adamyk Band.