My Vitriol – Always Your Way

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This is a review I did about 9 years ago for My Vitriol’s debut ‘Finelines. They feted and ridiculed in equal doses but they certainly had 1990’s sound down.

“Don’t let their name put you off. If you’ve imagined leather-clad hair balls shouting from the top of their lungs over a sprawl of loud and aimless guitars motions then you you’d be wrong. My Vitriol have a much clearer agenda; at their best they can create clean harmonious vocals with clever guitar accompaniments. The band was formed when Som Wardner and Ravi Kesavaram met at college in London in the late nineties and their music owes a lot to the sound of the early part of that decade. ‘Alpha Ways’ is the enjoyable instrumental that opens Finelines, the bands debut album. It could easily be an outtake from the Cure’s ‘Disintegration’ sessions with a shimmering guitar at its core that is both feisty and appealing. As well as having a great title ‘The Gentle Art Of Choking’ possesses lots of interesting sonic avenues. There is an unbridled feel to the guitar directions and the ragged vocal tendencies merely add to its ragged glory. Other tracks like ‘Static’ and ‘Losing Touch’ bluster like a gale but the dust that frequently flies about is a golden colour.

When My Vitriol hit the jackpot they uncover a rich, almost endless seam of ideas. ‘Grounded’ is close to being the perfect pop song. Things start off innocuously enough in a sub jam type refrain, but then the cleanest of guitar cuts washes over vocals as fresh and untouched as falling snow. ‘Always Your Way’ was the perfect choice for release as a single. It exposes My Vitriol breathlessly following their own instincts with dramatic effect. ‘Always Your Way’ is furious in its pursuit of perfection, the guitar tomes are heavenly and the chorus is sweetly addictive. It’s a shame that the band didn’t follow this lead more consistently throughout the album. That early nineties feeling is alive and well on ‘Pieces’ (which lasts a meagre 19 seconds) and ‘Kohlstream’. They both resemble the Cocteau Twins frazzled sound minus the eternal vocals. Striking from the same persuasion ‘Under The Wheels’ and ‘Windows and Walls’ inhabit unadulterated shoegaze territory. Initially they sound well past their sell-by-date, but repeated listens does pull you closer to falling for their unrequited beating hearts.

Unfortunately the album falls down badly on occasions. C.O.R. (Critic Oriented Rock) may have been written with an ironic shirt but it is music with so many creases, not even an industrial iron could sort it out. ‘Taprobane’ is so forgettable; it forgets to include a tune. The aptly title ‘Cemented Shoes’ plods along failing to twig any sort of reaction from the listener. ‘Infantile’ is less disappointing, those whispered vocals are an embarrassing mistake but at least the spiralling chorus is quite uplifting. A knowing, limited cull could have prevented these three non-runners. My Vitriol are definitely worth investigating. There’s nothing revolutionary on show but they are capable of producing a deep fried indie noise. ‘Finelines’ is three-quarters a very good debut. With 16 tracks it would have been easy to separate the wheat from the chaff and still be left with enough to chew on. It’s up to you to choose which course you skip.” KD

My Vitriol – Always Your Way

More Info: Official & Myspace
Buy Songs: My Vitriol
Year: 2001

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