The Dirty Nil
Gig Seeker Pro

The Dirty Nil

Dundas, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2006 | INDIE | AFM

Dundas, Ontario, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2006
Band Rock Punk




"The Dirty Nil: Cleaning Up Their Act"

I don’t know what it is about bands from Hamilton, but they always seem to come forth with a thick layer of dirt, like Pigpen from Charlie Brown. They appear to revel in the fuzz of noise and thick distortion, brash drums that pound feverishly like the beating of an exasperated heart, and desperate, howling vocals that escape with intention to stomp about wildly.

Now, whether or not that’s a bunch of bullshit is anyone’s guess. Perhaps the place has nothing to do with it and we’re just starved for something to believe in, something like the myth of “grunge.” As I found out while talking to Luke Bentham (guitar / vocals) and Dave Nardi (bass/vocals) of Hamilton’s The Dirty Nil, it isn’t the geography of the place that drives the story so much as it is the blood, sweat and kinship of the bands that exist within and support it’s local scene.

The Dirty Nil is the kind of band that plays loud, distorted out of control rock and roll, and they do it because they couldn’t do a damn thing else if they tried. They have a particular affinity for releasing 7-inch vinyl and most recently put out an EP titled SMITE.

Are we talking about the next Seattle here? Probably not. But, these are strange times we live in and even though music has never been more readily available, we still find ourselves standing around, scratching our heads and wondering where the fuck all the rock and roll is at? Well, you can call off the search parties cause as it turns out, it’s in Hamilton, Ontario. - Noisey

"The Dirty Nil - Smite"

Canadian punk rockers The Dirty Nil have had my attention for some time now, and I’m always thrilled when I hear they’ve released new sounds. Their new EP SMITE is brimming with their brand of roiling, ballsy, in-your-face punk complete with nasty, brash guitars and acerbic vocals. This is rock music exactly the way it should be.

First track “Nicotine” has already been covered here, but just to recap it’s a minute and forty-four seconds of adrenaline and release carelessly sprinting towards destruction. “Beat” has a bit more structure, driven by cymbals and a steady backbeat, though the cacophony of screaming vocals keeps the energy levels off the charts.”New Flesh” is the longest track on the record – clocking in at an epic 2:45 – with all the sharp edges and subtle tempo shifts of an At the Drive-In song. The trio pull back their pace here, spending that energy instead on hammering hard on those dissonant guitars. The song feels heavier and darker than the rest of the record. More menacing, and more dangerous.

After that dose of intensity the EP settles in with a ballad, of sorts. “Wrestle Yü To Hüsker Dü” is about as soft as the band gets, which isn’t saying much, and though it’s a love song it’s immortalizing a pretty messed up love. Melodies strummed out of buzz saw guitars accompany lyrics like, “I don’t care about your boyfriend, he don’t like me anyway. If you long for me, lover, I’ll be waiting in the hay. ‘Cause I don’t care about your man.” Like everything else on the EP it’s not beautiful, but who cares because sometimes beauty is overrated and what you really need is reckless abandon. The band ratchets up the noise again in the home stretch with “Pale Blue”, and though the song isn’t as straight-ahead as the first two it’s still all kinds of wonderful disaster.

I’ve been following this band for a while and these five songs are perhaps the best collection of music they’ve yet released. They drape themselves in all the best of punk that was, and revel in its manic energy and glorious catharsis. The EP is an absolute fucking riot, and I love every single blistering minute of it. - All Things Go

"Up and Comers"

Hailing from Dundas, Ontario – the Dirty Nil or ‘the Nil’ as they often refer to themselves, have been slugging it out in clubs for the better part of 6 years. They’re the kind of band you’d find at the high school party your parents told you not to go to. Though most of their enthusiasm can be heard on their recorded tracks, you don’t truly get an accurate representation of the group until you attend one of their shows. It’s a crowd surfy, beer soaked sing-a-long from start to finish. - Indie 88

"Cinnamon 7" review"

"In true Nil fashion, this song’s a wailing and unruly, fuzzed-out wall of sound, and their only goal is to punch you square in the gut with the sheer force of their own intensity." - A Journal of Musical Things

"Brooklyn Vegan track premier"

"Wrestle Yü To Hüsker Dü" track premier - Brooklyn Vegan

"Live Show review"

"Out of the gate, the band started the volume at eleven and stayed there... The songs were both fun and aggressive, delivered with such a casual confidence even the most energetic fist thrusting fan had to smile at the same time." - Tube Magazine


Fuckin' Up Young (2011) - 7" Single
Summer Mixtape Vol. 1 (2012) - Limited Cassette EP
Little Metal Baby Fist (2012) - 7" Single
Zombie Eyed/Negative Bondar (2013) - Split 7" w/Northern Primitive
Summer Mixtape Vol. 2: Covers (2013) - Limited Cassette EP
Broken Slinky (2013) - Limited Lathe-cut 7" Single
Christmas at My House - (2013) - Limited Lathe-cut 7" Single
Smite EP (2014) - 10" Vinyl/Cassette EP
Into the Sun (2014) - Limited Lathe-cut 7" Single
Cinnamon (2014) - 7" Single



For The Dirty Nil, the past three years have been a period of ceaseless, reckless action. Though the band formed in 2006, while they were still in high school, it wasn’t until the release of their first 7” in 2011 that they truly began to harness the propulsive, kinetic energy of their live shows. Since then, they have channeled this energy into three further 7”s, three lathe-cut 7”s, a 10” EP, a few cassette EP’s, and a handful of digital singles. Their dedication to short-form releases has helped foster their relentless creative output. Fractured pieces of rabid punk, feral garage rock, and uneasy pop hooks – assembled and reassembled. 

Performing live, The Dirty Nil are an unhinged, destructive force. Kyle Fisher ferociously pummels his drums, while guitarist Luke Bentham and bassist Dave Nardi stretch their amp volumes past their breaking point. Bentham and Nardi’s vocals range between melodic and frantic, violent and—less violent, with a grin on their faces. Whether live or on record, theirs is a performance based on tension and cathartic release. Three friends unified by the common desire to create something vital, meaningful, and excruciatingly loud. The Dirty Nil play rock and roll - cause they couldn’t do a damn thing else if they tried.

Band Members