At what point does the Beatles’ influence stop becoming a reference point and just become a given? Revolver is the first thing that rushes to mind when listening to (and looking at) High Dials’ Fields in Glass EP. But then you remember Jet’s shitty album cover and all the other bands who’ve already nicked the Beatles’ masterpiece (and Klaus Voorman’s cover) and you start to wonder whether or not the Fab Four should be categorized as an eternal influence like girls, drugs or the rain. Everything just becomes marginalized.
Sure, sweeping counterpoint bass runs, sitar-sounding six strings and a Ringo-riffic swing are an inherently inseparable combo. Though the Beatles mixed ’em up first, they’ve since become a whole musical language — appropriated with varying degrees of success — without the context or soul of the ’60s.
Having said that, and just when I was ready to love these guys, I find out that they used to be called the Datsons, a band that was once a straight-up facsimile of the Jam. So not only are they one of a billion Beatles’ apes, but they went in reverse order and tried to first monkey the Jam! Bewildering.
Regardless, a rewrite of “Taxman” is really hard to goof up. The High Dials are well-read enough in the rock refresher course to skip the “Your Own Input” chapter and still pass the class.
High Dials perform at Small’s (10399 Conant, Hamtramck) on Thursday, Aug. 26. Call 313-873-1117.
E-mail Ben Blackwell at firstname.lastname@example.org.