Review Summary: pup punk
Okay, let’s address the elephant, or eh, puppy in the room first: that cover art is quite something, isn’t it? But, absolute shocker, it’s possible to draw a clear parallel between the collared good boi and the music on F*ck Art
: in fact, it’s the perfect visual representation of the album. On this new record, Canadian punkers The Dirty Nil present a whole lot of fun, exhausting and persistently dumb-but-kinda-cute music. Every song is energetic and relentlessly catchy, but as you make your way through 35-minutes of bangers and the band stuffs even more gang vocals into closer ‘One More And The Bill’, you’ll find yourself saturated with enough pop punk to last you through the winter.
’s first major issue can be found in the vocal department. That’s not to say Luke Bentham has a bad voice, quite the opposite: he has enough grit to carry the entire record, while injecting the exact right amount of nasality for the genre. Sadly, his vocals are incredibly high in the mix, utterly failing to gel with the instrumentals during the slightly less upbeat moments. Besides sounding
awkward at times, the poor production job makes every single lyrical slip up painfully apparent… and there’s a whole lot of them. The Dirty Nil may just be the most literal band out there: you’ll never guess what songs with titles such as ‘Done With Drugs’ and ‘Hello Jealousy’ are about! The former is especially amateurish, as the bridge single handedly negates the need for rehab centers around the world: “Maybe I'll try origami or jujitsu / And walk around Ikea with you / 'Cause I'm done with drugs”
However, ‘To The Guy Who Stole My Bike’ is an absolute lyrical goldmine, whether this is intentional or not. Bringing to mind that video where Canadians are asked to trash talk, Bentham fires off insane insults such as “I hope the brakes [the bike’s brakes, remember, we’re being extremely literal here] don't cease / When you're riding down the hill to hell”
. Equally shockingly, he states his anger in the chorus by barking that ”I was angry then and I’m still now”
. Absolutely brutal and resolutely cute.
For all of its lyrical issues, F*ck Art
is still incredibly enjoyable. Almost every song is a blast to listen to, presenting several relentlessly catchy hooks. While this makes the full project a mildly exhausting listening experience, especially during its back half, it does ensure a high degree of memorability. Early album highlights ‘Blunt Force Concussion’ and ‘Elvis ‘77’ boast some of the best feel-good choruses in recent pop punk memory. While there is no flashy musicianship to be found here, The Dirty Nil are highly competent at delivering fun, simplistic music, with each member chipping in on their respective instruments. Occasionally, the band sees fit to unleash into hardcore-inspired bridges or outros, making for slight, pleasant changes of pace. The overall childish ‘Doom Boy’ ending on a rather intense breakdown is pretty random, not all that remarkable, but adds a little edge to a track that desperately needs it. Similarly, ‘Damage Control’ fits a sick
scream into its bridge, compensating for the previous song’s incredibly annoying ‘doo-doo-doo’s as an effective form of, here it comes, damage control.
With a whole lot of selective amnesia in the lyrical department, F*ck Art
is a highly enjoyable listen while it’s on, but it won’t exactly leave you begging for more. Give it a shot, add a song or two to your summer playlist and call it a day. The Dirty Nil are in need of learning a new trick or two on future projects, but until then, this record is pretty fun to spend a limited amount of time with. Just don’t ask me to adopt it. Get it? Puppies.