Dried Out take the spirit of ‘90s alt pop, throw in a healthy dose of Vancouver slackerism, and then add their own je ne sais quois. Even after saying all of that the band still defies expectations. The lead guitar is often quite perky, reminiscent of ‘70s and ‘80s rock. And then there are tracks like the lively “On The Run” on which they get downright frisky, creating a driving tune, despite the band owing a heavy debt to shoegaze.
Psychedelia also plays a role in the Dried Out story. The vocals in “Melt Me” are pure psych even though there’s a grungy vibe and the guitars fuzzed out beyond fuzz. “Out of Mind”, on the other hand, is more along the lines of contemporary grunge/pop, but the wailing lead axe has lysergic leanings, as does the song’s chorus.
With its solid composition and bursts of creativity, ‘By Design’ solidifies Dried Out’s place in the Vancouver alt scene, alongside bands like Weed (who will soon be history) and Did You Die.