gullbuy music review

The Dils


Dils Dils Dils


Dionysus Records


The DilsThe Dils were a late-'70s punk/new wave band from L.A. (also doing time in San Francisco) fronted by brothers Chip and Tony Kinman (later of Rank and File, then Birdland).

They were one of the few explicitly political bands on the scene at the time. From the release of their first record in 1977 until their break-up in early '80, the Dils managed a recorded output of only seven tracks, released on three 7"s, all on different labels.

This new CD gathers together the second and third single, along with demos and live material. Obviously, the best stuff on this release is the original single tracks, but while the live songs are of lower fidelity, the first four are surprisingly good-sounding recordings straight off the board.The energy level is really high, making for any sonic shortcomings.

My favorite cuts are the early (1977) demo track, "Blow Up" (far poppier than released material from the same year), "Sound of the Rain" and "Red Rocker," (both from the last Dils single, released in 1979 -- pointing to the rootsier sound of the Kinmans' next combo, Rank and File), the live "Citizen," and of course both sides of their classic sophmore single, "Class War" and "Mr. Big." Also of note are live versions of the Zeros' "Wimp" and Velvet Underground's "What Goes On."

---Peter, December 18, 2001