September 10, 2018 The Dirty Nil – Master Volume (Album Review)
Do not call The Dirty Nil a Punk band. Does the Ontario, Canada three-piece have plenty in common with some of the most exciting Punk bands on the scene like Against Me! and The Menzingers? Sure, but it is really straight up Rock-n-Roll that drives The Dirty Nil’s sophomore LP Master Volume.
This blazing ten track collection has a little bit of everything: lightning-fast beats, wailing riffs, ’70s Classic Rock sprinkles, gut-punching lyrics, and even a “fuck you” ballad. Following up their 2016 debut LP Higher Power and 2017 collection Minimum R&B, these Juno Award Winners are out to show the world that they are here to stay. With the help of famed producer John Goodmanson (Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney), The Dirty Nil are set to release Master Volume into the world on Friday, September 14, 2018 through Dine Alone Records.
The Dirty Nil have that kind of sound that somehow belongs both in the diviest basement venue and sold-out stadiums. By taking a little bit of the raw, in-your-face sounds of Punk and marrying that with some fuzzed-out Classic Rock riffs, this trio has hand-crafted a completely unique sound that is sure to be taking over the world. They eagerly show off that sound on opener “That’s What Heaven Feels Like,” a sludgy, devil-may-care anthem packed with Vocalist Luke Bentham’s lilting screams.
Keeping that momentum going is “Bathed In Light,” the album’s lead single, crafted after Bentham awoke from a dream about dying behind the wheel. For a song about death, “Bathed In Light” is pretty upbeat, backed by an insanely catchy, modernized Bowie-inspired riff–the lyrics even mention Bowie’s 1971 Hunky Dory by name, along with Jesus, Elvis, and even grandma. This riotous “what-if” track makes dying young seem pretty good.
“Pain of Infinity,” easily one of Master Volume’s best tracks, and the closest thing to a romantic tune you will find on this album, just demands to be played live and sung by an enthusiastic crowd. As does “Auf Weidersein,” somehow the one of the slowest songs, and yet it packs the hardest punch. Because everyone needs a song to sing to that person you hate, even if it is only in your head.
With tracks like “Always High” and “I Don’t Want That Phone Call,” The Dirty Nil excels at chronicling the anxiety and coping mechanisms that come along with trying to get by in an impossible society. These tracks are lyrically tough and poignant, but Bentham’s vocal performance gives them the weight that hits home. Add in the fuzzy Rock backbone that runs through all of Master Volume, and you have the makings of a modern classic that can proudly sit beside their contemporaries.
With Master Volume, The Dirty Nil offers up one of the most exciting releases of the year thus far. This is an album that begs to played over and over again, joining the ranks of rising Rock bands who are kicking the genre in the ass and keeping things interesting. That is why CrypticRock gives this front-to-back banger of an album 4.5 out of 5 stars.