are little balls of fury masquerading as a bitchin' Chicago quartet. On their latest release, Flex Time
, these three girls and one boy manage to find the middle ground between power-pop royalty and frenzied garage blasting. Live, the Dials feed audiences a sound that's like dirty gravel disguised beneath layers of glazed pastry: Emily Dennison's fingers skip happily across the Farfisa, balancing the straight shredding by guitarist Patti Gran, as candy-coated sing-along verses explode into fuzz-covered choruses. In other words, the band plays as though it's been wound-up tight and waiting to unfurl. As always, a spoonful of sugar helps the big-blasting medicine go down. Local girl-pop outfit That's My Daughter opens.