The activity in the recording studio of Canadian alternative rock band The Dirty Nil has been at least curious. Formed in 2006, the band waited almost ten years before publishing their debut LP (2016’s Higher Power) but since then, they have practically released a new record every year. After the 2017’s album Minimum R&B and a bunch of singles, The Dirty Nil have now published in 2018 their third and latest full-lenght record, Master Volume.
Listening to their new record one understands that the prolificity in writing and releasing their albums is is strongly connected with a sense of urgency and immediacy that emerges from their songs. And it’s no coincidence, therefore, that the three guys from Ontario have decided to speak the language of a genuine, straightforward and high-voltage rock and roll. We’re light years away from that conceptual and sophisticated version of modern rock that many bands of their same age are proposing in these days, sometimes with greater success.
Although catalogable in the vast family of alternative rock, Master Volume is basically a a concentration of different influences: from hard rock to punk, with the common denominator given by slashing guitars, screams, abominable volumes, distortions. There are no caresses on the cheeks or pats on the shoulders, but powerful discharges of energy that want to hit you right in the face. Not by chance, the best songs of the LP are those where the rhythms are more frenetic (starting from the fantastic Please Please Me and arriving to the incredibly exciting cover of Hit The Lights by Metallica) while the slower pieces seem decidedly less significant and effective.
In summary: Master Volume is an impetuous album that reaches the most interesting points when the band unleashes all the current of powerful rock which comes out from their instruments. The experience of listening to the whole record is less satisfying than the selection of its best tracks, and perhaps this is the point where the band could focus their efforts for the future.
Highlights: Hit the Lights, Smoking is Magic, and Please Please Me.