MUSIC: The Dirty Nil / Northern Primitive split

Today is one of those messy days. It's at least 15 degrees (Celsius) warmer than it should be and the rain has been coming nonstop, leaving an ugly grey sludge on the blacktop and turning McTavish Street in Montreal into a huge waterslide. These guys can empathize. The first half of the video, and side B of the 7", is Northern Primitive, a reflective alternative band reminiscent of early .moneen.. The other half is less likely to subdue themselves.

The Dirty Nil hail from Dundas, Ontario, the same place I go apple-picking with elementary school students every year. No offense, but there's little there but old country roads, Caribou, and several waterfalls. It's safe to say that the garage punk trio is a strong contender for "hardest-rocking 0.00012% of the escarpment population". Their angsty-screamy gang vocals and fuzzy distorted riffs put them somewhere between post-hardcore and post-grunge. They call it "hammer rock".

At a low volume, "Zombie Eyed" is loud enough to magnify the worst headache. At a "motherfucking loud volume" (as they insist), the discordance disappears and every slide is a wonder to behold. The Dirty Nil could afford more emotional contrast--angrier on the explosions, softer on the realizations--to really drive their lyrics home, but short of that, singing with a smile is the next best option. The song concludes on a who-gives-a-fuck note (Luke: "I guess I'm just zombie-eyed" x5), so smile widely on.

The Dirty Nil is: Dave Nardi (bass), Luke Bentham (vocals, guitar) , and Kyle Fisher (drums)

Go download "Zombie Eyed" and "Positive Bondar", courtesy of the artists and Indoor Shoes.