London Highbury Garage

...a collection tin rattling for the Indie Home For Distressed Gentleteens..

According to the winds of Cold War rumour, NASA have worked out to the millionth digit. Refusing to be outdone, however, the Russians have extrapolated to a million and [I]one[/I] digits. You wonder how many bands today might have been better employed as space race drones, their mathematical refinements of winning formulas increasingly precise, their chances of striking that unique eureka moment fading to zero.

Make no mistake – and God knows they’re careful not to – [a]My Vitriol[/a] are blessed with pristine confidence and unimpeachable competence. The downward tilt, the gradient of the fringe, the stare that offers the microphone out – you can’t deny Som Wardner has got the angle of the head right, the Cobain stance to the nth degree. Unfortunately, tonight is much like watching students with graph paper plotting a parabola without really knowing what it is to fly.

[a]My Vitriol[/a] promise so much: an easy understanding of dynamics, a voice so raw you could roast it on a spit, undeniable commitment to their cause. Problem is, it’s a cause without consequence, a collection tin rattling for the Indie Home For Distressed Gentleteens and nothing more.

Of course, the shuddering surrender of ‘Cemented Shoes’ sounds exciting as bodies somersault through the air; of course, the melodic salvage operation of ‘Grounded’ scrapes at real emotional grime – anyone raised in the post-grunge age has an instant Pavlovian reaction to guitar aggression, the storm after the calm.

Yet while America is clothing its recent rock heritage in the luminous boiler suit of outrage, at least it’s making an effort to move on, see new sights. [a]My Vitriol[/a] – a band in the most unassuming sense – are the equivalent of those people you see having tea in a motorway lay-by, happy to stake out their angst-choked territory with a Thermos and a blanket. The world’s traffic rushes by, but they’re satisfied with a pip-spitting cover of The Wipers‘Wait A Minute’ and the carbon-monoxide asphyxiation of ‘Always Your Way’, content to mutter a few song titles and leave the stage to the touchingly traditional thrum of feedback. It can’t be enough.

Cracking the code, crunching new numbers, ignoring the sines; when arithmetic becomes truly mental, it’s pure rock’n’roll. For now, however, [a]My Vitriol[/a] are perfectly balanced equations. Textbook examples. The sum of their parts.