DILLY DALLY Not pictured: any Dilly Bars.
DAVID WALDMAN

"IT USED TO BE that music was the only part that I would think about, and everything else could fuck off," says Dilly Dally's vocalist/guitarist Katie Monks. "But I can see every single element of being in a band as important now."

As the Canadian punks embark on their first extended North American tour, critical acclaim precedes them. But prior to the release of the band's debut album, Sore, few outside of their Toronto home base had ever heard of Dilly Dally. The good news is that the band is more than ready to take it to the next level, with six years' experience in their thriving local industrial punk scene providing a springboard.

There's a good reason for the attention they've been earning: Sore is a painfully good album, redolent of big-guitar '90s rock with quiet-loud-quiet dynamics and pop-pocked snotty punk. Steered by Monks' emotive wails and pitch-perfect screams, Dilly Dally's grungy homage is often compared to bands like Hole and Pixies. The connections aren't unfounded; they're just inconsequential to the band.

"For people to be like, 'Yeah, your voice is like Courtney Love's'... I have nothing at all against Courtney Love, I just have never listened to her," says Monks. "We want our music to be played on the radio, but [we realize] it's a bit emotionally draining hearing a woman moaning about things for 45 minutes on a record."

Monks' grating vocals are just one of the band's throwback calling cards. Co-founding guitarist Liz Ball sweeps smart, understated leads over the steady rhythm section of drummer Benjamin Reinhartz and bassist Jimmy Tony. The effect is distinctly aggressive, sometimes invoking dark imagery that's exorcised by the music's physicality.

"It's about trying to take [something dark] and turn it into something beautiful, even though it's strange and twisted and weird," explains Monks.

Dilly Dally's musical goals remain focused, even as they bring their live show to cities they've never been before. "I'm so excited for people to see us live and with all of us putting our full selves into the whole thing," says Monks. "I'm antsy about it."