So before I started this post I skimmed back through all of my previous posts about The Dirty Nil (scrappy little band of my heart, Frozen North division) just to make sure I wasn’t about to tell the same story for the third time, and here’s what I realized: I maybe haven’t told enough stories.
A side effect of following a band’s career for a while is you get to watch them evolve and grow. The first time I saw The Dirty Nil was their first New York show, at Glasslands in 2013. It was December (and freezing) and also, like, a Wednesday, so their crowd amounted to me and four other people (all dudes) over 35 stomp-swaying (mostly swaying) appreciatively. Still, they did their best to blow the roof off.
My gut reaction was Oh yeah, this is the good stuff and Where is their pit? They need a pit.
(Answer: At home in Toronto, where from what I can tell from the internet, their shows are glorious chaos, as they should be.)
I’ve since seen them at a tiny filthy punk club and Warped Tour, with larger crowds for each excursion, and not only is everyone still stomp-swaying happily, the band has only improved with time. I’d say “like fine wine,” but that is so not their aesthetic. Like good whiskey, maybe. Or the bag of Doritos that’s been lingering in your glove compartment for while, in case of a snack emergency. Maybe both of those things together.
Below is the video for Wrestle Yü To Hüsker Dü, from Higher Power, their most recent release and first LP with Dine Alone records. It’s also a fine example of their gleefully obnoxious approach to punk rock. So is the record as a whole; it’s a fuzzed-out shred bomb and it is great.
The Dirty Nil is playing two shows at SXSW this year, and I’m aiming to get to at least one. I haven’t seen them for a while, and I’ve missed them. I’m used to being up front, but on some level I’m hoping the place is packed and the crowd is heaving and I have to decamp to the bar -- I may not be able to handle a pit any more, but I can definitely appreciate one from afar.