Hamilton, Ontario's The Dirty Nil will be releasing their new album titled 'Fuck Art' on January 1, 2021 via Dine Alone Records. Combining 90s power pop with elements of melodic indie rock, loud and crunchy pop punk, grunge and post-hardcore, the Dirty Nil return with what is shaping up to be their most polished and hook-laiden collection of songs yet. The first three singles from the album can be streamed below.
Taken from the press release about the new LP:
As Bentham explains, “A lot of the feelings that I had going into this record—and which are represented in some of the songs—had to do with getting really tired of seeing people riding up on their high horses, especially online, and commanding other people what to do, and saying terrible things about people who aren’t instantly complying with them—you know, the complete pompousness and posturing of being online. I was around for the advent of social media, and I think there’s a universal agreement that this is the worst that social media has ever been. It’s never been this toxic and fucking depressing—it’s a flaming garbage fire every day. And yet our lives are kind of dependent on it.”
You can hear that frustration bubbling up and boil over on Fuck Art’s emotional centerpiece, “One More and the Bill,” a grungy drinking song that climaxes with a vow to “smash my TV, smash my phone, leave politics alone, go outside for a while.” Even a seemingly sincere declaration like “Done With Drugs” is less a personal affirmation than a social critique—the song isn’t so much about sobering up as the performative aspects of self-care that often play out on social media.
But Fuck Art is also a statement of confidence and defiance from a group that’s now three albums into the game—i.e., the point where ambitious rock bands are supposed to call in the orchestra, experiment with electronics, and try to make their Ok Computer. The Dirty Nil, by contrast, have opted to perfect the formula that, over the past decade, has landed them on stages with everyone from Against Me! to The Who. Fuck Art melts down all of their favorite ingredients—classic-rock heroism, pop-punk horsepower, ‘80s indie scrappiness, ‘90s alterna-crunch, speed-metal adrenaline—into a radiant, chromatic solution they can then mould and harden into unpredictable shapes.
After all, few bands could pull off a bait-and-switch as masterful as “Doom Boy,” where a thundering thrash intro clears the runway for an ascendant power-pop anthem that name-checks The Cro-Mags and Turnstile. Bentham rocked so hard during the song’s recording (trying to make Fisher and Miller laugh with his crabcore moves) that he quite literally had a blowout – “I have the pants to prove it!” Likewise, what other group would think to cap a swaying, Blue Album-worthy sing-along like “Damage Control” with a death-metal roar (“that’s Ross,” Bentham confirms, “he’s the king of the flaming-rooster scream”), or craft a love song in the key of Mötörhead (“Ride or Die”). But beyond flexing the Nil’s metal muscle more vigorously than before, Fuck Art reasserts the Nil’s uncanny knack for fusing mosh-pit-stoking energy with melodies that effortlessly soar above the melee, as heard in the adrenalized “Done With Drugs,” the swaggering Cheap Tricked knockout “Elvis ‘77,” and the open-sunroof rush of “Jealousy,” which isn’t an intentional callback to The Gin Blossoms’ “Hey Jealousy,” but would sound right at home tucked between it and a latter-day Replacements cut on an early ‘90s college-rock radio show.