By: Tyler Nyquvest –
Patience and commitment seems to have paid off for fans of Hamilton, ON-based punk rock trio The Dirty Nil as, finally, the band is poised to dropkick their debut album Higher Power into the teeth of all willing audiences.
It’s been a long time coming for band members Luke Bentham, Kyle Fisher and Dave Nardi, however, through their series of short-form releases over the past 5 years and deranged live performances, the group has managed to retain the type of hardcore fanatics found on the sidelines of a 90’s high school film. You know, the punk-infused metal-brains that are more concerned with head banging than they are with organized sports or homework. To their credit, you quietly love them for their unabashed passion for what they love.
It’s a mutual love shared by The Dirty Nil as the boys conduct themselves with the utmost vigilance and respect for their craft. Kyle, Luke and Dave are the punk-rock kids of yesterday that just want to jam out, have a good time and kick ass. All of which they do immeasurably well.
Higher Power borrows from the various EP’s, 7’s and so forth while also boasting a collection of newbies, all keeping within the same vein of unapologetic, ear-splitting rock, which will undoubtedly please The Dirty Nil nation.
The title track “No Weaknesses” fires guns blazing as the albums punchy assertion of the bands presence. The blaring screech of Nardi and Bentham paired with the high tempo guitar slashes and mile a minute percussion, which goes into full drive in the last 30 seconds of the song, announces The Dirty Nil as a rock powerhouse ready to start swinging in the big leagues.
Third track in is “Wrestle Yü to Husker Dü,” the 2014 Smithe EP single that isn’t new to avid listeners but still rings true as one of most emotive, honest performances from the trio. The songs negligent lament howls “we go walking Sunday, playing doctor in the reeds, your man calls while I’m laughing, you tell him it’s just a breeze,” depicting a simplistic scene whose power is carried in the volatile pitch tones rather than compelling lyricism. Although, The Dirty Nil does carries a unique ability to portray typical sources of anguish in our daily lives using very little description.
Another stand out and similarly impressive emotional experience, is “Bury Me at the Rodeo.” The track stabs close to the heart of a punk-rock-pop anthem that might just resonate with a wider audience due to its poignant lyricism, unhinged melodrama and catchy, melodic chorus.
If Higher Power has one fault it might be that it all sounds a little too familiar. Experimentation is not exactly at the forefront of this debut but that’s the point of the punk genre anyway, isn’t it? Die-hard rockers don’t go to shows expecting the unexpected, rather, they go because they know exactly what they want: unrestricted noise.
Fans of The Dirty Nil will undoubtedly be stoked on the full-length project, as it is the long overdue, fully cohesive release they have waited for. Furthermore, newcomers will appreciate Higher Power as a proclamation of the bands tangible entrance into the music industry and as a testament to the group’s uncompromising sound.
Essential Tracks: “No Weaknesses,” “Wrestle Yü to Husker Dü,” “Bury Me at the Rodeo”