By: Jessica Nakamoto –
Don’t let the smiling puppy or pastel sky fool you. While there may not be any red skulls or Grim Reapers this time around, behind The Dirty Nil’s cheerful new album cover is a collection of songs distinctly steeped in the exciting and untamed spirit of rock ‘n’ roll.
Out January 1st via Dine Alone Records, Fuck Art is the third studio LP from the Hamilton, Ontario-based trio. And much to the delight of fans (and the horror of suburban moms everywhere), its contents are just as rowdy and adrenaline-charged as the name implies.
Built on a foundation of hard work, pizza pockets, and Zoom sessions, Fuck Art came to life during the quarantine lockdown, but tells tales of stolen bikes, chaotic relationships, and a fear of commitment, rather than the end of life as we know it. Blending elements of power-pop, thrash metal, and the frenzy of punk rock, with what the group lovingly refers to as the magic of a little “stadium rock cheese”, singer/guitarist Luke Bentham, bassist Ross Miller, and drummer Kyle Fisher appear to be at their best when they don’t take each other or the world too seriously.
Songs such as “Doom Boy” and “Ride or Die” are firecrackers of energy with furious high-octane drumming, metal-like riffs, and punchy guitar solos. Yet, one can’t help but crack a smile listening to Bentham chalk lost love up to a “history of pissing in the wishing well” (“To the Guy Who Stole My Bike”) or offer an invitation to hold hands, hail Satan, and listen to Slayer in his mom’s Dodge Caravan prior to tearing the whole thing to shreds (“Doom Boy”).
Of course, the humor and sarcasm scattered throughout the 11 tracks doesn’t mean the record is out of touch with the current state of society. On the contrary, the desire to drown out one’s problems exclaiming “one more and the bill” is a more relatable plight than many would like to admit these days. For as the Nil reveal, we may find ourselves wishing for simpler times when the worst problems could be washed away with a night out with the boys and a stiff drink or two. However, as we wait for that semblance of normalcy to return, listeners can escape to the trio’s sonic universe. Maybe we won’t actually smash our TVs or our phones as Fuck Art advised, but instead, get caught up in the distorted guitars, catchy choruses, and therapeutically imagine The Dirty Nil tearing up the speakers just like they so effectively destroyed mom’s van.
In a way, the new record is similar to a heart-shaped tattoo on the bulging bicep of an angry trucker. It’s aggressive and tough, comical in a way, but most definitely a classic. To those who disapprove, it seems the Nil would simply shrug and say “fuck art”.
Recommended Tracks: Doom Boy / Damage Control / Blunt Force Concussion