The art of growing up
2021 starts strong with the Canadian punk band The Dirty Nil’s newest album Fuck Art. With Luke Bentham for vocals and guitar, Kyle Fisher on the drums and bassist Ross Miller, the trio are set to make 2021 their year. According to their label’s website, the band channels their trauma in their songs, and this could only lead to a new pop-punk album because pop-punk wouldn’t be pop-punk without some trauma. So for pop-punk fans, there is really no reason to not know The Dirty Nil. Their sound fits multiple generations of pop-punk fans, from Gen X to Gen Z. Most people can headbang and mosh to the songs. Mainly because the album is filled with energy, emotions and choruses to sing or scream along to.
The first song on the album, “Doom Boy,” is an ode to thrash metal. The song is mixed with a few thrash metal elements and references to legendary metal band Slayer. The song doesn’t take itself too seriously, so why should you? First songs often set the tone for the following songs, and judging from that, the listener has a fun experience ahead.
The next song, “Blunt Force Concussion,” is the anthem for people who like to ghost others after a first date or even multiple dates, the people who just can’t commit. With the chorus being, “Give me one half dozen blunt force concussions/ Crack my head in two/ Just don’t put me through saying I love you,” there is just one question left, who hurt you so badly in the past? But with “Elvis ’77,” The Dirty Nil has a question to the listener, “Why didn’t you call your Mama more?”
If you think “Done With Drugs” is personal, you might be wrong. In the commentary to the album on Apple Music, Bentham explains it’s more about people posting their life decisions on social media and making a big fuss about it instead of just doing it for themselves in private. The song has a classic pop-punk beat that is easy to follow and sing along to. “Ride or Die,” is a little harder and faster, more screaming, more kicking. “Hang Yer Moon,” hits a softer and slower tone, rather sleepy almost while “Damage Control” has a right mix of hard riffs and slow beats, combine that with the lyrics, and you have a pretty done-with-the-world kind of vibe that is perfect to just be alone for a little bit.
The horror of jealousy is very accurately described in the song “Hello Jealousy.” Jealousy comes in more forms than just romantically jealousy and the vagueness of the song makes it perfect for a lot of situations where jealousy might arise. “Possession” seems to be the tale of an emotionally abusive relationship with a narcissist. “What the fuck do you know about affection? This isn’t love; it’s possession.” The song has a short riff that almost sounds like the classic “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by The Darkness, which is very interesting if that is indeed on purpose. “The Guy Who Stole My Bike,” is a brutal revenge song on people who steal bikes, which happens a lot. The last track on the album, “One More And The Bill,” rounds up the album perfectly. It is a sincere song about the state of mind for many in the last couple of years.
Fuck Art might be a perfect pop-punk album because it sums up the most essential pop-punk theme, growing up. The entire album is a take on growing up while not entirely being ready for it. To say it in the words of legendary pop-punk band blink-182, “Well, I guess this is growing up.” Many listeners can probably identify with this album. It is fun and well put together. Now growing up and having responsibilities should be as fun as this album.