The Dirty Nil

Higher Power

Written by: MIN on 19/04/2016 14:10:33

If you look around the internet, searching for information about Canada’s power trio The Dirty Nil, you’ll probably find a lot of info discussing whether or not they’re a punk band, why they’ve made a seven-inch through Fat Wreck Chords, or how come they’ve toured Vans Warped Tour. Firstly, The Dirty Nil is not a punk band. Surely they have influences ranging from punk and hardcore, and they have an approach to their music that’s very “no bullshit”, but according to themselves, they’re just good old rock and roll. Well, high-octane testosterone-laden rock and roll with riffs that could tear down an entire building, I’ll add to that. Secondly, The Dirty Nil actually has been around for some years by now, playing small shows and releasing EPs and singles. But then again, there must’ve been a reason why Fat Mike wanted to make a record with them in the first place, right?

When listening to their debut album “Higher Power”, you can tell that the three guys in The Dirty Nil do whatever they want to do. Put on “Fugue State” and you’ll get 45 seconds of hardcore punk not unlike that found on PEARS’ “Go to Prison”; spice up your party mixtape with the drug-induced riff-carnage of “Zombie Eyed”; throw “Friends in the Sky” into the punch bowl and indulge yourself in southern guitar licks and solo. Or really, just enjoy the record from start to finish and embrace the full vigour of turned-up amps and never-ending grooves from a band whose influences have no limit within the realms of rock. When listening to “Higher Power” you can hear the inspirations from dozens of other bands, whether it’s from newer act like Drug Church and PUP, older punks such as Hüsker Dü and Fugazi, or just a trip down classic VH1-lane where we can find the band’s everlasting love for the rock giants of the 70s. The Dirty Nil are all over the color palette, but they never sound unoriginal.

In-between some of the bangers, there are, unfortunately, those songs that don’t reach the same level. I’m talking about such tracks as “Know Your Rodent” and “Bruto Bloody Bruto”. They aren’t bad by any means, but in comparison to the droning sex-drive of “Wrestle Yü to Hüsker Dü” or the epic album-closer “Bury Me at the Rodeo” they tend to drown; they’re both hard-hitting and well-executed, but there aren’t any slick solos, huge riffs or earthshattering breaks that make them stand out like the rest. And although two songs out of eleven aren’t statistically bad, it’s noticeable. Luckily, this doesn’t outshine the fact that almost every song on “Higher Power” feels just like what the title suggests: It’s taking some of the best elements from everything rock and punk and blending them together for an impressive debut full-length. The record is 26 minutes of pure Canadian muscle power that even the American Mustang has trouble matching.


Download: Zombie Eyed, Wrestle Yü to Hüsker Dü, Lowlives, Fugue State
For The Fans Of: Drug Church, Single Mothers, PEARS, PUP

Release date 26.02.2016
Dine Alone Records

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