We’ve got something a little bit different for this week’s New Band of the Week in the form of Glasgow’s instrumental progressive rockers Dialects.
This is probably the first band we’ve featured on the site that largely doesn’t use vocals, but in their case vocals are not required thanks to the brilliance of their instrumentalism. Dialects are one of the hottest properties in the ‘post-rock’ scene, fusing huge riffs, bursts of magnificent guitar wizardry, reams of wild drum action and much more in their brand of experimental rock.
We had a chat with guitarist Conor Anderson this week, and he told us: “We’re mostly instrumental progressive rock, we occasionally use vocals when we feel we they add to a track but for the most part it’s instrumental. There are bits of post and math, which we’ve been described as in the past, however for easiness we’ve gone with the previous description. It’s totally fine if people want to talk about us that way though as we certainly fit in those realms of music!”
A great example of this in practice is the wonderful Escape To Velocity, which kicks off with a blitz of virtuoso guitar work, then drops right down before a winding guitar builds out into a massive high-pitched solo that continues into a huge frantic rock-out. Trust me, vocals are not necessary on this song.
Equally brilliant is Mountainous, the final track on their Audiotree Live session (see below). It kicks off with a distant effects-ridden guitar riff with space-like surround noise lingering as the instruments gradually creep in, then a protracted guitar scrape gives way to a big drum roll and a smash of powerful guitar noise. The riff returns in a heavier capacity before feeding into a carousel of winding solos, followed by one huge, brilliant high-pitched solo. This eventually gives away to a full-on rock out with big powerchords accompanied by some massive diving high-notes.
Watch the band perform these tracks as part of their Audiotree Live session in Chicago here:
Dialects are also devoted to performing their unique brand of music on the live scene, completing no less than four tours in a year as well as heading overseas. Conor told us: “In the UK we’ve managed to build ourselves a foothold in the scene and we’re incredibly grateful for it. We had people travel some obscene distances to come see us last year, from seeing us before at a festival, or maybe as a tour support, and that’s always incredibly humbling. It lets you know you’re doing the right thing in other peoples’ eyes and makes it all worth while.
“Last year we played shows in Canada as part of CMW. I think due to how massive a place it is, as well as it having a comparatively small scene for this type of music, we got an awesome reception. Some people even went as far to say that they’d never heard anything like us. We of course shared knowledge of a number of bands from across the world that they should check out because of this. I guess it was nice to almost be a gateway into the genre for them.”
This final point is certainly one to ponder. I’m sure there are many people that aren’t aware they’re missing out on some superb musical delights in this genre, and to that point we asked Conor – who has taken his particular influence from bands like And So I Watch You From Afar, Maybeshewill, Brontide and The Fall of Troy, all the way through to Botch, Soundgarden, At The Drive-In, Incubus, Faith No More and The Dillinger Escape Plan – how the band got into this scene.
He told us: “The band itself has multiple influences across each member but it was intended to be instrumental from the start. For me personally, the first record I ever heard was a Mogwai one and it went from there. The other members have influences in varying forms of progressive music, metal, electronic, hardcore or alternative rock. I think the input from that music has allowed us to carve our niche in the genre and experiment more.”
There’s loads more to come from Dialects this year, starting with a new double A-side single coming out on a 7-inch vinyl. It features two brand new tracks Illusory and the joyfully named When You Die, You’re Truly Alone and is released on 28 April through Sunbird Records. The band is also hoping to release its debut album this year.
But they’ll also of course be on the road, playing Bristol as part of the Effigy Weekender, along with bands like Bossk, Employed to Serve and Conjurer, then heading out on tour Toska, which concludes with playing Strangeforms festival. More information on all their gigs is available here.