High Dials Moon Country

High Dials Moon Country
In all the coverage of the Montreal music scene, somehow the High Dials got overlooked, despite hitting their stride on their last album, War Of The Wakening Phantoms. The fact that they've garnered high praise from Brian Jonestown Massacre leader Anton Newcombe (who has also joined them onstage) suggests that the path they've chosen is more psychedelic than in earlier days. That said, their newest release, Moon Country, has more than its fair share of conventional songs and that's both a positive and a negative. The first disc of the set is much more approachable because they've focussed on melody and it's the most successful disc of the pair. Unfortunately by the time they get to number two, they are running short on ideas and are happy to hide behind swirling guitars and drawn-out instrumental sections that are, quite frankly, dull. Like so many double albums, Moon Country would have made a better single album, with the weaker songs being jettisoned. The upside is that the band made it easier by labelling the second CD "Side B," as that is where things fall apart for the High Dials. (Independent)