Album Review: The Dirty Nil-SMITE EP

It’s not secret that I’m a pretty big fan of Canadian band The Dirty Nil. If you don’t believe me, well then just look here or here or here. That’s called evidence. Motherfucking CSI shit. Straight out of a crime lab, and served up to you on an Internet screen with an abundance of F-bombs. You’re welcome.

Anyway, after three years of churning out some glorious singles that were made to put Sum 41 to shame as the go-to teen angst rock band for 15 year olds (me), The Dirty Nil have released their debut EP. And believe me, they’ve gone from mere prodigies of alternative rock and pop-punk to actual disciples of dead set punk. There’s still some of the glorious anthem qualities that ‘Fucking Up Young’ and ‘Verona Lung’ initially showcased. But instead of leaning on the big hook/chorus combo, The Dirty Nil have gotten dirtier, filthier and more ragged. They’ve stripped back the fleshy pop tendencies. Or rather, they’ve skinned them alive, and feasted on the gory remains. Then they’ve gotten up on a stage and bombastically torn down all cynical expectations.

So, where there first stood a band that could’ve easily gone the way of New Found Glory or The Ataris, there’s now a band that screams authentic punk right in your fucking face. It’s so close, your ears actually get monsooned from all the flecks of spit flying from the stage. Take ‘New Flesh’, the paranoid track that squirms and retches with all the potency of some of OFF!’s best tracks. It’s bile-ridden, scourge-infested zombie carcass grabs you by the neck and throttles you until a coma seems like a nice way out. And ‘Pale Blue’, which starts off with a wildfire dash towards creating as much musical havoc as possible, builds and builds itself until there is literally no escape from the crumbling tower of the world’s tallest song metaphor.

However, The Dirty Nil haven’t completely abandoned their roots of delivering solid tunes with just enough pop sheen to cause an entire audience to collectively abandon moshing for a heart-warmin sing along. This pop genius comes in the form of ‘Wrestle Yü To Hüsker Dü’ a track that would make Bob Mould so proud of punk music that he could wish his hair back into existence. This is a song so emotionally wrought and perfectly crafted towards making a stadium’s worth of teenagers sway with lighters in the air, and yet it doesn’t feel like a tired, by-the-numbers piece of shit. Woah….that’s crazy unique, man.

So, for a band with not all that much material, The Dirty Nil can only impress. Within five songs they can tear off your genitals, patch them back together, and then tear them right off again. They’re genuine, they’re passionate, and they’ve got all the elements for what should be a super successful rock group that doesn’t make you want to slit your throat. Really, there’s only a couple popular modern bands out there like that (*cough, Japandroids, Violent Soho, Cloud Nothings, cough*) and The Dirty Nil have more than enough panache to join that group. If you’re the sort of person that likes music with balls and grit, get this fucking EP.

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