I feel a personal attachment to The Dirty Nil because I was one of the first guys to blog about them, and I’ve been doing it consistently ever since. I’ve probably posted more on this band than any other—except maybe The Clash. I love their mix of brash punk, country, rock and just about everything else they can throw in. Their work can vary greatly between sessions, though, and Higher Power hews close to Black Flag/Fugazi/MC5/Bad Brains style punk and DIY noise. The kind of sound that will drive most grown-ups crazy, especially the children of the 1960s.
Thus far, their career has been a loose collection of singles and one-offs, EPs, covers, and random noisy joy.
So, how is their first proper album? Well, for one thing, it doesn’t really slow down until deep in—with the cut “Bury Me At The Rodeo”—and even that one is more of an anthem than a slow tune. It’s all muscle, all grit, no sugar, no filler. I have to say that while I love this band, this is simply not their best work. It’s damn good, well worth ten bucks, but it’s missing some of the soul and heart of their best singles.
Having said that, there is a reworked old classic here, the amazing “Wrestle Yu to Husker Du,” and a few of the tracks are fantastic: Bury Me At the Rodeo, Zombie-Eyed, and Helium Dreamer, to name a few.
The single is streaming, so I’m posting that and an old version of Husker Du and my personal favorite Dirty Nil song of all time, Fuckin Up Young. Some guys spend their whole lives making music and never write a song that good. If you like these three songs, you’ll love this album.