The Dirty Nil‘s ‘Minimum R&B’ gives one of the best modern performances of old school, sleazy, and dirty rock and roll. While they drew some controversy in signing to Fat Wreck Chords, the band still incorporate an essence of punkiness within their distorted vintage sound.
The record differs from slower-paced tracks like ‘Verona Lung’ to a faster, aggressive punk influenced sound that Fat Mike clearly enjoyed them for, with tracks like ‘Guided By Vices’. ‘Verona Lung’ is a classic style heavily bass driven track, heavily groove based with the chorus having a bigger hitting sound to it that the bass centric verses.
We still hear a raspy essence to vocalists Luke Bentham and Ross Miller throughout, and some overly dissonant screeching from overly distorted guitar. However, ‘Guided By Vices’ is heavy hitting and rife with fast-paced distorted guitar and bass, with louder vocals with a far harsher, yelled tone to them. The instrumentation focuses more on pace than groove, yet Bentham‘s technical skill on guitar does shine through in places, and his vocals at times harmonise brilliantly with Miller‘s.
‘Pale Blue’ incorporates elements of both, a clearly punk centric track in the sheer energy, the raw vocals, and the distortion of the guitars, and the track has a smooth rhythmic vibe to it. Yet, the track still proceeds very quickly whilst still maintaining that rock and roll essence at heart.
The album has a really analogue feel to it, Bentham‘s vocal performances are some of the least raw components, and that’s saying something. There’s a great static buzz in the background in parts that really gives authenticity to ‘Minimum R&B’ that if The Dirty Nil hadn’t opted for such a production choice, really would have dampened the spirit of the record. Plus, the brilliant effects on the instrumentation, such as Bentham‘s heavy use of distortion, blends into their music brilliantly.
Written by Dec Sherry (@decxsherry)