Dialer Tour Tape 2019 Cassette

Took me a minute to wrap my head around what’s going on here. This is Philadelphia, PA-based drum-machine-driven synth-punk which also has an occasional saxophone. Some of the songs are pretty cool—faster and nastier than I expected, particularly the newer songs on the A-side of the tape. This is where DIALER really shines. The slower tracks feel too long and lose my attention, particularly the repetitive ones with spoken-word political sound clips in lieu of vocals, which close out each side of the tape. Side A is listed as having four new demo tracks but there’s definitely more on it which goes on for a while, and side B is DIALER’s side of a split 12″ with CHRONIC ANXIETY. Interesting to see a band in the current age having a strong, outspoken, anti-war/anti-authority political agenda, and props to that considering it feels like many bands nowadays are stuck singing about goo and slime, but a lot of it does come off sounding a little contrived and cringy.

Chronic Anxiety / Dialer Split LP

I reviewed DIALER’s debut cassette a few months ago and loved it, so I was stoked to see this. DIALER continue to use aspects of post- punk, synth, free jazz (??), and more to create a tight feeling of what the future holds for punk. They sound so fucking pissed about the state of the world, but seem cautiously optimistic about the future. Start- stop spazzing makes space for clarinet freakouts and weirdo samples, and the singer still has FILTH vibes. I’m into it. CHRONIC ANXIETY are bass and drums playing post-punk with some grunge overtones. Their singer is kind of half singing, half ranting in an almost stream-of- consciousness way about yoga and big gulps. I’m not that into it.