I love when I hear a song and think “Is this…oh wait, what is this!?” When a band can take inspiration but doesn’t imitate, when they can sound vaguley familiar, but totally new at the same time. Luke, Kyle and Dave are three 20-something friends from Dundas, Ontario who are body-slamming the music scene with elbow drops of loudness and roundhouse kicks to the ear drums.

Their band The Dirty Nil have had lot of comparisons to 90s garage rock, which I agree is the right comparison – if looking to describe them in 3 words – but thats just the surface. Like the algie that grows on a lake – it’s there, but it sits on the surface – the good stuff is in the water underneath that breeds sea-dwellers still unimaginable to us.

I think the 90s comparisons stem from the loud and sometimes distorted guitars plus vocals that sound like Rivers with a Kurt attitude and a side of Frank Black. Being a big Weezer fan, I was impressed to hear some early Weezer in their sound – considering they were 5 when Pinkerton dropped. Who doesn’t love a little “Getchoo” and “El Scorcho” influence but with a fuzzier, louder sound? – all the while keeping that pop melody.

The Dirty Nil – Fuckin’ Up Young
The Dirty Nil – Fuckin’ Up Young

With the garage-rock sound often comes “fuzz” as The Dirty Nil like to call it. Although I’m a fan of it’s comeback, sometimes a band can let “fuzz” get in the way. The Dirty Nil have found that perfect concoction of reverb and volume and have put out 2 tracks that will make any party playlist.

This trio are talented beyond their 20 years and I have read rave reviews of both their professionalism and talent. They have 2 tracks available on their bandcamp which you can grab here. I suggest getting these before your summer starts, your friends will thank you. If you like what you hear, make sure to head down to The Casbah in Hamilton on July 29th to catch their CD release party.


I had the chance to catch up with these guys and let the MvM readers get to know them a little better:

Luke Bentham, 20: Guitar and Vocals

Dave Nardi, 20: Fuzz Bass

Kyle Fisher, 21: Drums

I read that you’ve been playing since highschool. Were you always called The Dirty Nil or did you start off with something only a 14 year old would think of, like “Boner and The Heartthrobs”?

Its funny you say that because we recently played a Replacements tribute show under the name Gary and the Boners like the song Gary’s Got A Boner. I think we went by the Basement Saints for one show but then one day The Dirty
Nil just happened and we stuck with it. – Kyle

I have some albums that work as time machines for me – like how Pinkerton can bring me back to the night of my first house party and can remind me to never drink vodka and purple Fruite again. Do you have any albums that had a big influence on you? or just bring back good memories?

Any pre-green album Weezer brings back great memories for us! Born to Run also brings me back to doing our best drunk Springsteen impressions when we were 17. -luke

I read that you like beer. And more beer. I know that for me, a couple beers remove the filter from my brain – sometimes good, sometimes bad. What are your thoughts on the influence of drugs and alcohol on the creative process? Does it help or hinder?

In no way do i endorse drugs or alcohol as creative partners but i have written a bunch of songs under the influence. That being said, Ive never been able to write a song that i specifically sat down to write. Sober or grooooooovin’, its more important that you’re just having fun playing music rather than specifically trying to write. – luke

The Hamilton arts scene is a great place to be right now. Do you have any favourite local talent? Other than the guy who swings balls of fire or the guy who rides the miniature pony.

Its too tough to pick a favourite. Recently we backed our friend Cam Malcolm with some solo material of his but there are many local bands we are diggin’ like Joel Elliot and Thinlines, Monster Truck, Mystics, Motem, Cowlick, the Abbreviations and Young Rival to name a few. – Kyle

You have released the tracks “Fuckin’ Up Young” and “Verona Lung” on your Bandcamp, when can we expect a full-length from The Dirty Nil?

Probably sooner rather than later. Without revealing too much, we’re almost there really. Maybe sometime in the new year. But no promises. – Dave

Should we expect more of the same raw, rock loudness or are there any surprises? Ballads maybe? Saxophone seems to be making a comeback.

Clarence is dead so no sax ever. Its hard to say where we’ll take the music but you can definitely expect a lot more fuzz and ragged vocal harmonies. Ballads? only to set up the dominoes to knock em down with a wall of sound.-luke

Any releases to date other than your recent bandcamp stuff?

We have released 2 EPS as well as the F.U.Y. single, one self-titled and one
more recent called Saccharine Visceral.

You’ve got a show coming up in Hamilton, what are the details?

It’s at the Casbah Lounge on July 29th. And its our 7″ Release/5th Anniversary Show. A quarter of our lives have been spent in this band. So that’s sort of a big deal for us. Plus, our first vinyl release is kind of a milestone as well. So we’ve got two really good reasons to celebrate. And we’re bringing out our best buds and tourmates, Lightmares, from Sudbury. And their bringing another fantastic Sudbury band, Bunnies in Berlin. The entire night is three-piece bands playing righteous garage rock. So it should be a pretty amazing night. – Dave

*And now for the Toe Jam Mondays Top 5:*

Cats or dogs?

Dogs. Maybe a really fat cat now and then. Those are pretty good. But mostly dogs.

Drive-in or theatre?

Drive-ins. Men In Black and Batman & Robin all in one night? How could you go wrong.

Finish this sentence “Never underestimate the power of …”

Early Nic Cage films. He didn’t always run around with flashlights and bad hair. The man could act.

What is your favourite toe-tappin’ jam right now?

Marine Dreams: New Decade. It’s off a cassette that Ian Kehoe from Attack In Black just released. And its bitchin’. Seriously bitchin’

Were you scared of monsters under the bed when you were a kid?

Pfff, like hell we were. Seriously though, we were on pretty good terms. Live and let live bro.

Big thanks to The Dirty Nil and hope to see all of you out at The Casbah this weekend.

Happy Listening!

* If you are a member or manager of the above band and you would like your track removed, please contact us and we will swiftly oblige. Fans new or old please support these bands by using your coffee money to buy their records.