12243275_10153111251660124_2801933859904989448_n-1The Dirty Nil is a three-piece band out of Hamilton, Ont. They are self-proclaimed classic rock n’ roll musicians.

However, their sound comes closer to punk than it does to classic rock. Their lyrics are very angst-influenced with a basis in the disparagement of youth. Many songs are about broken relationships, societal flaws and the general issues with living in a world of disillusionment.

Their first album entitled, ‘Higher Power’ comes after a string of Singles and 7” releases. Their early singles, such as ‘Fuckin’ Up Young’ and ‘Little Metal Baby Fist’ were regarded as a breath of fresh air, in a genre gone almost stagnant.

This enthusiasm continued in later works such, ‘Guided by Vices/Cinnamon’ a 7” and the single, ‘No Weaknesses.’

It is these types of shorter releases that built The Dirty Nil’s sound; short, high-energy tracks, almost perfected by the time of release built an amount of reliability within their sound.

Prior to Higher Power, each single or 7” was solid. However, something is lost within this longer length release.

Maybe it’s the loss of disillusionment, and subsequent forays into more general sounds and subject matter. Maybe it’s the lack of growth in their sound.

There is no real difference in these songs, besides the fact that some are less catchy and less emotionally driven than before. The Dirty Nil presents a record that although inherently sounds good, is also a tad disappointing.

The listener expects something bigger to be going on, but rather finds a world slightly smaller than hoped.

This world, however, is filled with sing-able lines, and head-bangable guitar riffs, so not all is lost.

Seemingly built upon the influence of alcohol and a general sense of disembodiment, The Dirty Nil’s tracks are aggressive, loud and easily accessible to the listener.

Easy listening hooks mixed with powerfully distorted chords and angered screams build an ambience of shared dishevelment.

The Dirty Nil’s sound is angry, yet poppy. It is made for the losers of the world, while containing preppy influences.

The Dirty Nil is jock-punk. They are something to listen to when one wants to purge emotions, but they also fit beside a beer pong table.

They sound almost like a slightly more-screamy Offspring.

Moderately distorted guitar lays a basis for each track. Feedback is utilized often, and choruses that engulf the listener within their pseudo-punk, rock n’ roll aesthetic, drive the songs.

The album starts strong with two previously released songs. These tracks are entitled, ‘No Weaknesses’ and ‘Zombie Eyed.’ These tracks act almost as a definition of their sound.

All of the things listed above, be it accessible lyrics and hooks, just enough distortion to make you want to move and anger are present here.

The album then moves into its most interesting direction. ‘Wrestle Yü to Husker Dü’ presents a move toward a slower, almost ballad-like style. ‘LowLives’ presents a darker, almost nihilistic influence.

This influence can be seen also in the songs, ‘Know Your Rodent’ and ‘Fugue State.’

These songs are all bass-heavy and laden with punk imagery. The bass thumps and makes the listener move with it.

The fast-pumping distortion of the guitar and the heavy beating of the drums forces the singer’s volume to rise into an incomprehensible scream. These songs are cathartic and angry, yet accessible, which is everything this record hopes to be.

However, the rest of the album hovers between catchiness and predictability. It is good, but nothing really stands out. 12241450_10153111249010124_300324532687036663_n-1

Each song feels similar, falling closer to that of commerciality instead of a true and original sound. ‘Helium Dreamer’ holds the most promise out of the rest of these tracks.

Starting with throbbing feedback and a bass ridden introduction, the listener is intrigued, yet becomes complacent by the almost whiny, predictability of the chorus.

This song is the representation of what the album embodies. It represents the thin line between being progressive and predictable, interesting and forgettable.

It is this line that The Dirty Nil struggles with on their first release. The record as a whole is good. It has highs and it has lows.

It often feels genuine, and progressive, but then, at other times, feels foreseeable and presupposed. It is not that The Dirty Nil presents a bad record, but a record that fluctuates often, and in that, disappoints a little too much.

Their anger and emotion is still evident. This presides throughout the mindset of these disappointed youth and throughout their whole record.

An unfair world influences them, yet somehow they are able to break through, for better or for worse, and create.