Ontario’s Juno Award-winning trio is a finely tuned rock machine that is at its best when the members are pursuing their penchant for thrashy riffs, bashed out drums, and levels-to-the-max volume. This one kicks off with some cock rock action as the guitars get rinsed withing an inch of their liives as ‘Celebration’ is a slow grinding rocker make no mistake about that. This their fourth album, ‘Free Rein to Passions’, is a confident ten track blast of Rock.
The Nil’s back-to-basics approach was a direct reaction to their previous record, 2021’s ‘Fuck Art’, a process the band said brought too many industry people whispering in their collective ears, telling them how to do what it is they do. and they admitted they weren’t enjoying the process anymore so back to basics they go.
The Nil got back to having fun and doing what they love. jamming in their practice space for weeks on end, the result is a heaving bristling album full of songs from a band once again in love with Rock and Roll. ‘Nicer Guy’ is next up and clearly you can hear the band is on a roll – knocking out carefree tunes loud and clear.
As the record unfolds a passion for hooks and melodies unfolds. they’ve freed their minds and are heading to the top of the pack whilst Weezer are asleep at the wheel we’re looking for someone to emerge from the pack and that someone can be The Dirty Nil.
It’s not rocket science nor is it reinventing the wheel just damned well rockin out putting on their shit kickers and kicking some shit. ‘Atomize Me’ is a slower beast but hell Luke Bentham sings his lungs out.
The band also turn to longtime collaborative producer John Goodmanson to capture their sound at Jukasa Media on Ontario’s Six Nations Reserve. They also brought in new blood with bassist Sam Tomlinson, who fits right into the groove they’re going for and nails it or is that nils it?
‘Stupid Jobs’ is an ode to just that, with a dirty riff that harks back decades and a melody of defiance but pop hooks in the BV’s that burrow down into the ear canal leaving the listener wanting more. Following that up with the runaway excitement that is ‘1990’ buzzing and fizzing its way through the verse leaving the impression they did indeed have the best time jamming these out before committing them to tape.
The record has a feeling that these songs grew naturally and nothing is forced leaving just the title track to come out swinging before cutting itself loose and away into the real world with the anthemic balladeering of ‘the Light The Void And Everything’ its big but not soppy or forced if anythign quite the opposite. A great way to end a really great record. the Dirty Nil are back in the ring and they’re up for the fight and this time they’re armed with an honest record that begging to be heard pop pickers so go get some, who knows. You might just enjoy it, I certainly am.
Author: Dom Daley