My Vitriol – Finelines

My Vitriol are one of those bands that have been given the “indie” tag. It’s so unfair and like Suede, The Manics and numerous others before them their debut stinks of a certain ambition that defies any accusations of that indie mentality. From the opening bars of “Alpha Waves” with its dub bass-line, ambient guitar lines and trance like spirit it just has masterpiece written all over it. It’s the first of four instrumental interludes that nod to Massive Attack (“Kohlstream”), hardcore rock (“Critic Orientated Rock”) and Pink Floyd (“Taprobane”).

Although Nirvana are a huge influence it avoids the clichéd power-chords that long forgotten acts like Radish used to plagiarise with such relish. In fact you could say that Nirvana are there in spirit alone, as musically they’re far more open minded that Kurt and co ever were. While sticking closely to the quiet verse / loud chorus approach to song-writing texturally it’s a stroke of genius. Guitar work courtesy of Som and Seth are combined to such dexterity not seen since Johnny Marr on “The Queen Is Dead”.

With 16 tracks for your delectation it’s something of a relief to know that the weakest track is former single “Pieces”. It’s an album that effortlessly blends together rather than a collection of singles along with a few fillers. Those who have seen the band live will already know the likes of “Grounded” and “Tongue Tied” but your favourite track will literally change on a daily basis depending on your state of mind.

Those who had the band written off will be eating their words when this hits the street. As a debut album it stands head and shoulders above the rest and even manages to knock the wind from most major bands recent albums. It’s always said that the 3rd album is the real test; if this is any indication then they’ll take it in their stride.

Alex McCann