Friday, February 21, 2014

The Dirty Nil: "Smite" (EP review)

The southern Ontario rock scene has precious few bands that play as passionately and as hard as Hamilton's The Dirty Nil.  The challenge is putting that punk attitude down on tape.  The group have made a valiant effort with this week's release of the Smite EP.

The record gets off to a blistering start with the appropriately-titled "Nicotine".  It seems like the band is having nic fits as the vocals go from snotty to downright sloppy in unpleasant Scream-O fashion.

Things get cleaned up for "Beat", a track that fulfills the promise of the energy of the opener.   "New Flesh" begins life as a raw Stooge-ish frenzy before reeling itself back in to more angular Refused territory.

It's a completely different sound on the methodical (almost to the point of being benign) "Wrestle Yü to Hüsker Dü".  The song never quite gets on the rails.

The Dirty Nil leaves you with perhaps their best effort.  "Pale Blue" is a revved up number that, under slightly different circumstances, could actually be considered a hard rock anthem.

Smite is not a great record.  There's so much that needs to be cleaned up and fleshed out, but the band's sheer fearlessness does bode well for their future.

The Dirty Nil play the Silver Dollar in Toronto on March 21st.

Best tracks: "Beat", "Pale Blue"

Track listing for Smite:
  • Nicotine
  • Beat
  • New Flesh
  • Wrestle Yü to Hüsker Dü
  • Pale Blue

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