What’s better than music? Music that pops up in your email inbox and says, “Hello, cool person! Let’s rock out!” I love it when bands reach out to OTM and say hi, especially indies. It’s simply impossible to keep track of every artist out there in a thriving scene, after all.
So, here’s The Dirty Nil in a few sentences: they love to rock. There is no air of artsy pretense, no desire to create intellectually complex concept albums. The band gets it: people want to rock. They want to party. To do so, one needs quality music to let loose to. The Dirty Nil aims to feed that need. Self-described as “loud, distorted and out of control”, the three-piece from Dundas, Ontario aims to melt your face off – or simply sweat it off, as you jump around.
For the next few weeks, they’re handing out a four-track Summer Mix-Tape to brighten your humid days. Allow me to get a little down and dirty with these tunes and see what makes The Dirty Nil tick.
Bruto Bloody Bruto: Power chords! Garage-band drums! Welcome to the party, one and all! Rocking it like the grunge of the 90s dashed with the sashay sway of more danceable punk, the lead track on this mix-tape is short but not sweet (bloody does not evoke the saccharine). Definitely house party heaven – and that’s a good thing.
Fuckin’ Up Young: A salute to the ways we misadventure and fall flat on our respective faces, “Fuckin’ Up Young” was previously released as a single. Reminiscent of old Green Day with a hint of Rancid, there’s more of a melodic focus in this one compared to the opening tune. Some great riffs in the mix here, along with a drunken swagger befitting its anthem aim.
Cinnamon: Were you waiting for the song about a girl? Here it is, and it’s perfectly punk: poor Cinnamon is told to be pissed off if she chooses, but our romeo’s not exactly apologizing for running around with his friends and getting into trouble. As low-key as this band likely gets, this is probably the most radio-friendly tune thus far, if only because it’s full of hooks, lyrics easy to learn and sing, and enough of a retro feel to bring it back around again to current.
Panzer: I’m pretty sure “Panzer” began as an excuse to imitate Animals (of The Muppets) on drums. Not a bad thing, but trust me: the drum heavy, bang-a-palooza that opens this one screams, “Go wild! Do whatever!” Classic rock riffs and screaming vocals are a recipe for this jam-fest. Again, I’m feeling old Green Day for this one: minimal lyrics, straight-up rock, and an air of playful fun.
Final Comments: The Dirty Nil is a band that will appeal to you depending on what you look for in music. If you like tunes to thrash around to, or tunes to play loudly while drinking and laughing with friends, this EP delivers. If you’re more of a cerebral listener, keen on lyrics that intrigue or that you can relate to, you’re not really going to engage with this material. The lyrics are fairly secondary here; it’s more about the sound. Given that I fall somewhere between these two camps, The Dirty Nil are a band I would check out live or spin now and again, but there’s not enough to keep me listening on repeat. They are great at what they aim to do, though! “Fuckin’ Up Young” and “Cinnamon” are the strongest tracks in my opinion, and the two I’m likely to spin most often.
Final Grade: B+
Snag your own free copy of the Summer Mix-Tape at The Dirty Nil’s bandcamp page.