GET IT AT: iTunes
For long time fans of The Dirty Nil, it’s hard to believe that Higher Power is their debut album. Luke Bentham, Kyle Fisher and Dave Nardi have played the long game perfectly. With every release over the past five years, their fan base has become more rabid and the momentum they have managed to wrangle has felt ready blow for sometime. The screaming feedback at the onset of “No Weaknesses”, the album’s lead off track, is like smoke from a volcano that is ready to burst, sending a warning to listeners: you’ve got no choice but to brace for incineration or run as fast as you can and get out of the way, because at this point, nothing can stop The Dirty Nil.
Higher Power, much like the Nil’s live show, is triumphant, occasionally messy and often mesmerizing. You get a taste of everything they have to offer. Humongous singalongs, reckless abandon, Replacements worship and even a pinch of 80’s hardcore. It makes for an exhilarating listen, even though you may have heard a handful of these songs before. “Wrestle Yü To Hüsker Dü” benefits from a beefed up bass tone and “Zombie Eyed”, while fuzzier and feedback-filled, feels tighter and more polished than the original. As for previously unreleased songs, “Violent Hands” is perfectly crafted and captures the spirit of the Nil better than any other track on the album, though “Know Your Rodent” comes very close.
The biggest revelation on Higher Power is Dave Nardi taking over lead vocal duties on several cuts. We got a taste of Nardi’s abilities on the Smite EP but he has come into his own here. “Lowlives” is easily one of the best Nil songs to date. It pummels you with every listen and showcases the heavier side of the band that sometimes gets overlooked. His bass playing is also an integral part to the Nil’s sound. It ensures that at least one foot is firmly planted at all times, serving as a counterweight to the playful and often epic showiness of Bentham and Fisher’s playing.
The most exciting thing about Higher Power is that it feels like only the beginning of The Dirty Nil’s career, despite having been a band for the better part of a decade. The album rings with the guttural glory of the band getting to do what they’ve been working towards for so long. Though some songs need a little reining in, it’s clear the band were mostly concerned with capturing the feeling and energy of their grade A live show. It feels fresh, energized and ready to be received by whoever comes across it. Run for your lives everyone, The Dirty Nil have arrived.
Dine Alone Records
February 26, 2016
Tags: The Dirty Nil