A City Bled Dry: Stream DIALER’s New Tour Tape

Do you have 6 minutes to spare? Because DIALER’s tour tape clocks in at just under that; and despite its brevity, these Philadelphia synthpunk/industrial stalwarts jam pack a good deal of manic, anticapitalist energy into it. I previously covered DIALER’s first tape, but since then they have also put out a split 12” with CHRONIC ANXIETY, and now are dropping 4 new tracks (5 if you count the noise track which is exclusive to the cassette). 

It’s pretty rare that a synthpunk band takes a lot (if any) of its cues and energy from 90s-00s hardcore/post-hardcore — as opposed to the typical 70s-80s feel associated with the genre — and it seems like something that might feel awkward, but somehow DIALER pulls it off. This material almost feels like SONG OF ZARATHUSTRA / BOOK OF DEAD NAMES, who are two bands I don’t usually see mentioned, but who I definitely have a soft spot for. Don’t fret though, this is absolutely not an attempt to make good screamo in 2019 (I wouldn’t insult them like that), but rather a mixture of artier elements of the style with chaotic noise rock / post-punk akin to legendary acts such as SEXA and STRETCHHEADS. While I made the comparison to BIG BLACK for their first tape, that influence seems to sit on the backburner on this one — I don’t think that it would do justice to either band to say that for this one (a drum machine doesn’t magically make bands sound alike) — although there is an undeniable tinge of Albini-inspired madness present. 

Artwork for the digital release

The artwork for this is actually a photo of one of the members, who grew up in Israel, during a scud attack in the early 90s. No exploitative photos of other people’s trauma during war, this is the real deal. I think it’s fair to say that the music — along with the politically charged lyrics — help represent that as well. This isn’t your typical “war is bad” psuedo-political drivel, these lyrics are rooted in real-life experiences of dealing with class war, desperation, and navigating the hellish labyrinth of poverty and an unjust state (in the US specifically). 

As I mentioned, this is a tour tape, and their tour starts today. If they’re coming near you, I definitely recommend checking them out. Dates are listed below the bandcamp stream.


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The Author



Joey is from the cultural black hole known as Wilmington, DE. Despite this, having access to the internet allowed him to get into punk. Years later, and much to his mother's dismay, he's still all about it. He even writes about it for no other reason than the joy of showing people music. When he's not doing punk stuff, he's probably plotting the downfall of capitalism or watching cartoons.

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