Master Volume

Master Volume

The Dirty Nil has always reveled in the tension between their rock-star swagger and record-nerd geekery, lacing their grungy pop-punk with winking fanboy references and self-deprecating humor. The Dundas, Ontario, power trio’s second full-length album doubles down on both sides of that split personality: Master Volume is rife with ecstatic power-pop anthems about dying in a car crash while listening to David Bowie (“Bathed in Light”) and profane power ballads that steal their titles and subversive spirit from Cheap Trick (“Auf Wiedersehen”). But the Nil also deploy their in-the-red riffs and throat-shredding hooks to surprisingly heartfelt effect—see: “I Don’t Want That Phone Call,” a poignant plea to a friend whose addictions are bound to land him in the hospital, or worse.

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