on 8 July 2001
First of all, I don't usually write reviews of this length but there are occasions in your musical experiences where landmarks are reached and you just can't keep silent. You just want to share your feelings.
Of the hundreds of artists I've ever listened to, some of them pretty good too, only Hole's 'Live Through This' and Smashing Pumpkins' 'Siamese Dream' have attained such musical landmarks in my life. Fine Lines is the third!
For me, what distinguishes a great artist from a good artist are when you get those 3 or 4 songs on an average length album which take your breath away" i.e. they make you feel you're sexier than Schiffer , better than Beckham, or just greater than the greatest; they make you feel beyond what you are in reality, they take you to another plane emotionally and psychologically. Fine Lines does this for me.
I've listened to Fine Lines more than 20 times now to get rid of that initial over-hyped feeling and write an as accurate a review as possible.
Believe me I didn't feel so enamoured at first but their songs just somehow grow on you after each listen.
My favourites are 'Grounded' which is simply beautiful, full stop; 'Cemented Shoes' which has a lovely dreamy quality and 'Ode to the Red Queen' which has a melancholy yet breathtaking chorus. I know 'Always: Your Way' is probably the favourite for most. This is a lovely fluid tune but for me the above are a bit better.
What confirms My Vitriol's talent to me (as if they need confirmation) is how they can take Madonna's 'Oh father' (a B-side song on their Grounded CD1 single) and make it in to a rocking tune. I checked out their web site, listened to the audio section and came across some other B-side tunes on the singles they have released and guess what............they are just as good so I bought them all too, bar one (Grounded CD2, which has a weak all-percussion tune called 'Deadlines'). 'Spotlights' and especially the incredibly catchy 'Breakfast' are another 2 fantastic B-side tunes. In fact, in my opinion, 'Breakfast' is just about the best My Vitriol number of them all.
I must say that having seen all the 5 star marks before I bought the album it did alert my interest yet I initially thought it may have been an over-hyped album but the more you listen to it the more you realise what a piece of brilliance this stuff is and I believe it's their first album. WHAT!!!! I wasn't concerned at what others had marked, if it deserved one star I would have given it but this really does deserve all five. The only weak tunes are the two all-percussion tunes, song 1. Alpha Waves and song 10. Tongue Tied, yet even these aren't too bad. I haven't taken in to account the interlude tunes such as 'Kohlstream' which for me serve as necessary breaks for me to catch my breath. My Vitriol show and uncanny knack of producing consistently good tunes of differing tempos.
Finally I just want to thank all you gals, guys and aliens who gave this album five stars, if it wasn't for your reviews this masterpiece would have avoided my radar and I would have missed out on one of my greatest ever musical experiences.
"Gratitude for Your Attitude".
on 23 July 2001
This band combine the angst of placebo, the sing-a-long factor of green day and the pure rock power of the Smashing Pumpkins. If you've ever heard of any of these bands, you should get it. In my opinion, the best songs are the ones which are deep and yet have you singing along before the end of your first listen, i was singing along to "always:your way" during the first chorus. This album filled a gap in my life that i didn't even know i had.
on 15 November 2011
..... and this album is still incredible. I recently rediscovered them when going through my old CD's. I guess because they havent done much since this debut I kinda forgot about them but now i'm back on being hooked. It's not often you can call rock music words like 'gorgeous', 'spellbinding' and 'wintery melancholy powerful' but this albnum is just that! The other good thing is that, unlike yank bands like Smashing Pumpkins, My Vitriol avoid being too angsty or artsy for the sake of it - they just rock out and this is the result. It still manages to be no-frills power rock at its heart, you can tell by the way the songwriting still has some naivete to it and lacks development in some areas. But thats not an insult - in this case its good! It means the band aren't overthinking things, they just play. I would say though that the first 8-9 songs are great and then they tail off a bit but that may be because the first tunes are so awesomely inspiring you don't need them all! : )
10 years on and they still had the formula just right to my ears, it is one of the best debut rock albums of all time, it certainly kicks the c%^p out of 'Generation terrorists' or 'Frogstomp' - two other rock debuts that were heralded at the time but now in the cold light of day are nothing special. My Vitriol why oh why did you slow down your career and end up playing Guilfest??! You should be on top of the World by now. Sort it out!!
on 28 August 2001
Firstly I would like to say one word: "WOW", this album has it all, pure, beautiful, loud, amazing, lush, mean, emotional, happy, sad, etc... The album is one of the finest I have heard for years, it really is something, Som Wardner is clearly a amazing songwriter, his lyrics and vocals are both pretty and indepth. An amazing band to witness live, real power and energy in their set, a real gem of band who have yet to get the attention that they really deserve. Fav tracks from the album: Always, Cemented Shoes, Grounded, Losing Touch, Ode To Red Queen, Tongue-Tied (AMAZING), Pieces, etc.. I really cant choose my fav! The future looks peachy....
on 22 November 2008
It's 2008, a nice round 7 years on from the release of this album, and still it holds sway among the best of the best rock albums. Why? Well it does has it's reference point, influences and the like - but you'd be hard pressed to find a band before My Vitriol who sounded exactly like them. As mentioned in the reviews from the time, there are hints of the Foo Fighters, a pinch of My Bloody Valentine for sure, but these influences are taken into a whole new spectrum on Finelines.
This album sounds BIG. And no that's not a bad thing. In many respects their wall of sound is all the more refreshing in the current climate of clackety indie guitars that sound as if they were recorded in a shed. Instead Som Wardner and gang took their telecasters, said no to the clean channel and turned everything up to 11, filtering myriad spacey rock sounds into the mix.
The songwriting is not to shabby either, they pull huge choruses out of the ether for the ones you might remember "Always: Your Way" and "Grounded." There's even harder slabs of rock with the likes of Pieces, and more broody, introspective numbers like "Ode To The Red Queen." There's even c.o.r. - a 40 second blast of furious metal stylings, almost as if the band knew that they could out-metal the multiple platinum nu-metal acts in the charts at the time. This is all bound together with some brilliant instrumental(ish) tracks such as "Tongue Tied." In a way it's pointless trying to pick out a highlight though as this is clearly an album, not to be digested in individual chunks.
With the band vanishing into almost obscurity since 2003, lets hope they release something in the future just as good to remind us all what it's all about. In the meantime, if you haven't already, do yourself a favour and get acquainted with one of the best and most overlooked rock albums of the decade.
on 10 September 2007
I fell in love with My Vitriol 6 years ago when I was a 'slightly misunderstood' 16 year old with access to an alternative radio station. Cut to 2007 and I am still in utter awe of this band. Their sound is brilliantly unique - sweeping melodies and often delicately intricate guitar work is combined with thundering chords and furious drumming; and all these elements are marvelously woven together by the unmistakable vocals of lead man Som Wardner who ranges from furious screaming to angsty droning to the softest murmuring. OK, so I sound over-the-top, and possibly I am, slightly, but I cannot think of any other way to describe how fantastic this band are. The fact that this is their only 'full' album to date says a lot, as I can listen to it over and over without getting bored. Stand out tracks include Always:Your Way, The Gentle Art of Choking and Windows and Walls. Modern 'Indie' fans who clamour to the happy-clapping of the numerous identikit guitar bands currently over running the charts would do well to listen to this album, which is British rock at it's best - raw, emotional, intelligent and thought provoking.
on 6 December 2001
my vitriol, the most exciting and innovative band to grace my ears since nirvana or the smashing pumpkins have come up trumps with this lp. it has always been my view that in order to be rated as a classic album, each song should have its own style and that not one should be any better than another. this album succeeds in that. from the anthemic always:your way, the rocking losing touch, or the wonderfully melodic pieces, not one track is at fault. som and the gang have already, after only being around a couple of years, managed to master the art of the live performance, with astonishing results. infectious records have a habit of finding new refreshing bands, and they have certainly found one here. dismiss the travis onslaught, the stereophonics snoreathon or the snarling of oasis, this is the band all of britain should be supporting, making them as big as the beatles. after all they deserve it. you may have heard the hype, believe all of it. this is astonishing stuff. not even the white stripes or the strokes match their raw energy. this is the album of 2001
on 10 February 2001
Finally, their debut album is here. All that waiting, those long days, are over. Having seen them live, they are so good, and heavier than here. They manage to combine gorgeous melodies with sensuous vocals and powerful guitars. Although there are 16 tracks on the album, they are not 16 songs as such, but instrumental interludes. As Som said, why stick to a rigid formula of 10 pop songs, when they could do it just how THEY wanted. Stand out tracks include Always your Way, Pieces, Cemented Shoes. Gentle Art of Choking and Tongue Tied (you HAVE to see this track played live!). My Vitriol have been hotly tipped to break into the mainstream in 2001, and hopefully they will get the recognition they deserve. If you like rock or indie, bands like the Foo Fighters, Ash, Feeder, King Adora or anything similar, you'll love this. Only problem now is i can't wait for the next album...doh!
on 3 November 2015
I decided to pull this one out of my collection after gathering dust for a few years. I followed them when they first came out, seeing them support Placebo back on their 'Black Market Music' tour, and they sounded awesome live. Then the album- which instantly resonated with me. There isn't a single bad track on Finelines. Clearly influenced by Smashing Pumpkins, The Chameleons, a dash of Nirvana, a slice of Placebo, and a pinch of Deftones- there's something for anyone who loves some post-rock grunge, with plenty of melancholy and drama!
I won't go into the sound too much, but sonically, and with depth, they deliver. Me and a mate kept catching Som at various gigs around 2003, even appearing at a Sneaker Pimps low key gig. You could tell the guy where's his heart on his sleeve.
With a bass player change up, a fantastic follow up single in the way of Moodswings (which appeared on the equally impressive b-side inclusion Finelines/Between the lines, release a year later), it looked like My Vitriol where gearing up for album number 2...but it never came, and so they disappeared almost as soon as they arrived. Shame really, as this album really is, dare I say it, a classic, and deserves so much more attention. Later on they released A Pyyric Victory EP, and gave us all what we were waiting for, but it was really such a short lived taster. I'm guessing problems within the band, and getting a record deal might have the reasons..
I just hope that, with their resurgence, they can reach the same creative heights in their next album...coming soon from what I've seen..2015/16!
Buy this Album and realised what you've missed.....
on 3 March 2001
The best indie rock newcomer around. this band is awesome. if you havent had a chance to see them live yet, i suggest that you do. this album is amzing. Each song is brilliant, unlike most albums. Always Your Way is the most recent release but when this album is finnaly released im sure many others will realise their talent.