Following the release of 2017’s compilation album Minimum R&B and their 2016 debut of Higher Power, The Dirty Nil return with their second studio album titled Master Volume (on Dine Alone Records and out Sept. 14). The Dundas, Ont. trio — Luke Bentham (lead vocals, guitar), Ross Miller (bass) and Kyle Fisher (drums) — worked with veteran music producer John Goodmanson (of Blonde Redhead, Bikini Kill and Death Cab for Cutie fame) to sharpen some of the band’s past rough edges. Now straightforward lyrics, gritty riffs, heavy drum rolls and lots of feedback and distortion merge into an adrenaline shot of raw power that’s amplified throughout the half an hour of songs.
Master Volume proves to be a rip-roaring, punk-tacular testament to rock ‘n’ roll. The opening track “That’s What Heaven Feels Like” introduces listeners to the new polished sound. It features spectacularly nonchalant sing-along lyrics before breaking down into a wicked guitar solo and coming to a close. It’s followed by the banger first single “Bathed in Light,” a catchy rock ‘n’ roll track that exudes swagger, before jumping into the equally as awesome and cool second single “Pain of Infinity.” Then, the volume gets cranked up to the nth degree in the punk-rock energized “Please, Please Me.” A fast, raucous explosion of dynamite to the ears (but, in a good way) — It’s perhaps my favourite track on the album.
Afterwards, things slow down for“Auf Wiedersehen” and “Evil Side” without the band, however, losing any of the characteristic attitude or style their known for. Plus Bentham gets to show off his amazing vocal range. “Always High” features ferocious bass licks and standout drum rolls paired with more catchy vocals that make for a great live number. While “Smoking is Magic” comes in fast and hard with more phenomenal drum work and guitar shredding. The next track “Super 8,” written as the band’s ode to crashing in one cheap motel room after another, is very cheeky and humorous. Finally, “I Don’t Want That Phone Call” hammers home on a more serious note, addressing substance abuse, DUI’s and tough love.
With Master Volume, The Dirty Nil deliver a glorious record from start to finish that’s worth listening to again and again and again… and again… and then a gazillion more times for good measure. Don’t believe me? Well then you be the judge and give it a listen for yourself. Personally, as a fan of rock ‘n’ roll, I can’t help but get enthralled from the very second the feedback begins to blossom at the beginning of the album to when the instrumentals wane at the close.
Catch The Dirty Nil on tour with stops mapped out across Ontario — playing Supercrawl Festival in Hamilton on Sept. 15, the Babylon Club in Ottawa on Nov. 28, the Wax Nightclub in Kitchener on Nov. 29, Rum Runners in London on Nov. 30 and The Opera House in Toronto on Dec 1.
To get concert tickets, purchase the album or find more information about The Dirty Nil check out the following links: