If you want a carefully thought through, sincerely crafted album, you’ve come to the wrong place. The Dirty Nil’s third album Master Volume is not an intelligent record which reveals layers of meaning to the listener. But it is lots of fun. To sit and analyse the tracks on it in detail feels wrong. It defeats their purpose. So instead I’m going to sit back, enjoy some rock’n’roll, and brush over the highlights.
‘That’s What Heaven Feels Like’ sets the tone. If your singer/guitarist is chucking out an “I’ll show you, baby” before ripping into a twenty second long guitar solo on the album opener then there’s a certain standard of swagger you’re going to have match going foward.
There’s certainly no letting up on ‘Bathed In Light’ or ‘Pain of Infinity’. Massive catchy choruses? Check. Dirty riffs? Check. Iconic lyrics? Check: “Hello Jesus, hello Elvis / It’s good to see yas / Hello grandma, you’re looking good / I knew you would” on the former is hard to argue with. Belters all round.
The tone changes slightly as we hit ‘Please, Please Me’, which dials up the speed and aggression, calling on a more hardcore brand of punk. Like a star exploding in to a million pieces, there’s a massive release of energy to enjoy.
‘Auf Wiedersehen’ delivers the same catharsis but in a different way. We start quite calmly before the chorus kicks in spectacularly. You see, there are times in life where you just need to scream “FUCK YOU” at the top of your lungs. And The Dirty Nil make it possible to do exactly that. Cheers guys.
If there is one track on Master Volume where the Canadian trio tempt the listener into thinking with some sophistication, then it’s ‘Evil Side’. There’s a soulful, bluesy sound to the instrumentation which lulls you into a false sense of security. Okay, you think, this is the “quiet track” on the album. WRONG. Three and a half minutes in, the song erupts into a joyous cacophony of noise. It’s glorious. One of those songs where you just want the outro to go on forever.
‘Evil Side’ finishes and you think, that’s a perfect ending. Wrong again! The album reaches a climax with a cover of Metallica‘s ‘Hit The Lights’: three minutes of madness, played at a million miles an hour. It’s going to be utter carnage live. And as an album closer, a much better summation of what this band is all about. Fun.
So thanks The Dirty Nil. Sometimes in this business its very easy to get caught up trying to be fancy and smart when reviewing albums. We need albums like Master Volume to remind us that music can just be silly and callous and fun and that is brilliant. More please.
Sounds Like… A smile you can’t shake.