The Dirty Nil
Entry Requirements: 14+
Sure, playing 350 shows over the past three years all over the world was pretty impressive, but The Dirty Nil didn’t just spend the past few years on the road in support of their debut album, Higher Power and companion collection of early singles, Minimum R&B. They spent much of it opening for—and, more importantly, studying—the greats: Against Me!, FLAG, Billy Talent, Alexisonfire. They’re bands who, like the Nil, cut their teeth for years on the local circuit playing the dingiest of dives, but now find themselves playing arenas and headlining festivals. With Master Volume, The Dirty Nil are ready to make the same leap—not by polishing their sound for radio, but by bulking it up to fill the stadiums and open fields of their most vivid rock ‘n’ roll fantasies. And, sure, winning the Juno Award for Breakthrough Group of the Year made the parents proud.
Produced by veteran alt-rock architect John Goodmanson, Master Volume is an album that crunches and grooves where the band once smashed and trashed, unleashing the Nil’s undiminished raw power in more controlled waves to better target the back rows. “It’s less of a sprint and more of a strut,” singer Luke Bentham says, and he credits this new bombast to the chemistry of the band following the arrival of Ross Miller, who replaced original bassist Dave Nardi in early 2017. While Ross was already a longtime friend of Luke and drummer Kyle Fisher, his pedigree includes playing with everyone from Wanda Jackson to Single Mothers.
Loaded with steady-grooving songs about living fast and life-affirming anthems about dying young, Master Volume ultimately amplifies The Dirty Nil’s most essential quality: their refusal to be defined. They’re too melodic and muscular to be purely punk, but too raucous and unhinged to pass as straight pop; too cheeky to be overtly political, but still acutely in tune with the unsettled, anxious energy of the times in which we live and the frantic fear that it can all come crashing down at any second.
“We don’t really label ourselves other than just… the best band. That’s our genre!” - Luke Bentham, The Dirty Nil