While the High Dials are often classified as a latter-day neo-psychedelic or mod band, that's way too neat and simple, and ultimately inadequate (if not flat wrong by the end of the 2000s). There's certainly an air of throwback about the Montreal foursome, who bask in shimmering string arrangements cut with a Village Green Preservation Society lilt; however, their sparse and melancholy yet buoyant power pop has more in common with fellow Canadian indie rockers like Thrush Hermit and Treble Charger.
Featuring Trevor Anderson on vocals and guitar, Robbie MacArthur on guitar, Eric Dougherty on keyboards, and Max Herbert on drums, the band debuted on the Rainbow Quartz label in 2003 with A New Devotion. The record revealed a band still fairly steeped in the British '60s (but with disarmingly modern twists) at that time, and caught the eye of the E Street Band's Little Steven, who grabbed them for performances with the Stooges and the Strokes. A diverse EP, running from timeless instrumentals to sleek pop, appeared the following year, signaling an act not immune to experimentation. The High Dials continued to evolve, releasing a nicely (if not spectacularly) reviewed full-length every year or so, reaching a crescendo on 2008's sleek Moon Country, which found the band dabbling in everything from country-rock to psych-folk to post-disco. Released in 2010, Anthems for Doomed Youth signaled a return to the melodic, '60s-inspired pop of the High Dials' debut. ~ Jason Thurston, Rovi