Album review: The Dirty Nil – Fuck Art

The Dirty Nil cement their reputation as the court jesters of punk rock on cheeky third album Fuck Art...

Album review: The Dirty Nil – Fuck Art
James Mackinnon

If any real-life band could stand in for Bill & Ted’s Wyld Stallyn’s, it would be The Dirty Nil. The Canadian trio love marrying pop-rock smarts to big dumb riffs, while treating everything from love to car crashes with irreverence. So if their third album’s foot-shooting title (or getting Gilbert Gottfried to review their lead single) indicates the band take the yucks a little too seriously, it’s certainly in line with their personal mantra: troll the world.

On that note, the injection of thrash metal here cranks their guitar-worshipping antics to cartoonish levels. Opener Doom Boy is a hard-riffing hoot, but far better is the galloping Ride Or Die which sounds like Lemmy fronting Cheap Trick. On the sweeter side, it also feels fitting that Blunt Force Concussion musically and lyrically takes its cues from Weezer, another band of secret metalheads, as frontman Luke Bentham spins a lyric about fear of commitment into breezy pop.

After a while the hell-raising wears thin, though, and Luke’s jugular-bulging yells start to sound indistinguishable between songs. But when the Nil’s no-holds-barred approach comes good, it’s glorious. Case in point, To The Guy Who Stole My Bike culminates in three guitars soloing over each other for a minute-and-a-half to horn-raising effect, plus Luke’s finest one-liner to date: 'I have a history of pissing in the wishing well.’

Fuck Art is an enjoyable blast, but what these songs are begging for is a crowd. Whenever live shows return, you can guarantee that The Dirty Nil will be there with a bag of raucous new tunes and tongues placed in their collective cheeks. And that is a very comforting thought for 2021. New year, new you, same old Dirty Nil.

Verdict: 3/5

For Fans Of: Cheap Trick, Puppy, Weezer

Fuck Art is out now via Dine Alone

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