My Vitriol - ‘Finelines’ & ‘Between The Lines’ (Infectious)
19 Jan 2004
a re-released double package; release - '02.
It's been a tough ride thus far for My Vitriol. Continually out on the UK circuit preaching their gospel to audiences broad-minded enough to listen, their frustration at their debut-LP 'Finelines' not being a complete world-dominator must be the reason why - almost a year after its original release - the Brit-based four-piece are choosing to put it out for a second time.
However, admittedly, it does come with a few extra goodies for the fans, namely within a brand, spanking new US-mix of the original material for American audiences - as provided by Steve Thompson, a man behind the knobs of prior works from Korn, Henry Rollins and the ever-delayed rockers Gun 'N' Roses - plus a bonus second disc ('Between The Lines'), possessing more rarities and acoustic-versions of fan-faves that you could care to shake a particularly moody and shoe-gazing stick at.
For, the fact remains that, despite the occasionally fuller sounding guitars and groovy bass-hooks, the new 'Finelines' is the same as what we got last year first time around. Press-support back then was decidedly mixed, yet with a 2002-market currently centring around an abundance of shady atmospheric noodling - just think of present-leaders, BRMC, for instance - maybe My Vitriol will meet their right time at long last.
On a closer and secondary analysis, as it happens, this does make for a strong debut-record. From the experimental tones and textures of the various instrumentals such as 'Alpha Waves', recalling Mansun circa 1998 or the Jesus & Mary Chain circa 1988, to the occasional glimmer of sassy, satisfying melodies - 'Grounded', 'Always: Your Way', 'Ode To The Red Queen' - MV do often pull off barrages of involving sound; best on offer are, naturally, the singles, although the epic, sonic majesty of 'Tongue Tied' and nu-metal pastiche of 'C.O.R.' throw in welcome jolts to the beaten track. At other times, however, singer/guitarist Som Wardner and co. restrict themselves from fully breathing - namely via a lack of flicking the effects-peddle on the harshly cranked-up guitars, which consistently drone on for the full listening-experience.
The second CD, meanwhile, is commonly just as intriguing. The mesmerising 'Windows & Walls' sees the group work with a piano to a beauteous result, the following percussive mind-warp of 'Safety Zones & Crumple Zones' offering a haunting contrast and a beguiling pre-cursor to the group's sexy rendition of Madonna's 'Oh Father' plus the simultaneously ambient/heavy recent single, 'Moodswings'. The chipping six-string plucks and snarls of 'Game Of Pricks', and moments such as the upbeat, stoned-Strokes intro of 'It Came Crashing', top off the collection, revealing an act with more than just one or two musical-triumphs up their sleeves.
Admirably seeking out their own niche and occasionally underappreciated, the 'Vitriol show enough energy, passion and ideas herein to suggest they'll be around for a while longer yet. Which, in case you've been informed otherwise, could progress to be a very positive thing.