Band: The Dirty Nil
Album: “Higher Power”
Hailing From: Hamilton, Ontario
Genre: Loud Wailing Rock
Label: Dine Alone Records
This album immediately rips open like a bat out of hell, starting at the first second with wailing guitars, distorted vocals and a damn catchy chorus on the track “No Weaknesses.” The Dirty Nil is a three-piece band from Canada and delivers a stellar debut album. “Higher Power” continually gains momentum with each song, with no sign of slowing down any time soon. The lyrics and the frontman’s vocals remind me of a grittier, angstier version of Cage the Elephant’s frontman Matt Shultz. These songs come in fast, demand your complete attention and then are gone before you even know it. This is a band you’ll want to keep on your radar this year.
Must Hear: “No Weakness,” “Zombie Eyed,” “Friends In The Sky” and “Bruto Bloody Bruto”
Band: I the Mighty
Hailing From: San Francisco, Calif.
Genre: Throwback Emo
Label: Equal Vision
For an album released in 2016, “Connector” would have fit in perfectly during the heyday of emo’s commercial success 10 years earlier. I the Mighty have very clear emo, pop punk and, dare I say, screamo influences. This theatrical sophomore effort even features collaboration with Max Bemis of Say Anything, one of the biggest bands of the genre. The track “Friends” that he is featured on is one of the best on the album. This is really a nostalgia-heavy release. The band seems to have taken bits and pieces of genre greats — the thrashing guitars of A Day to Remember, the electronic elements that bands experimented with behind screaming vocals — and mixed them together, creating “Connector.”
Must Hear: “Psychomachia,” “Adrift,”
“Friends (featuring Max Bemis)” and “Andrew’s Song”