Live review of My Vitriol, Enjoy Destroy and Out Of Embers at the Ruby Lounge, Manchester Thursday November 20, 2008.
It was in 2001 that My Vitriol released their critically acclaimed debut album, 'Finelines', and as to date it remains their only long player. A string of festival dates earlier this year and now a whistle-stop tour suggest the wait could soon be over, as they get back into gear and road test some new material.
Opening to a sparse crowd are Out Of Embers, who on appearance one might think is Simon Cowell's latest project to conquer the heavier part of the music market. Easy on the eye they certainly are, but upon hearing them any doubts are blown away. Full of attitude, their songs are powered on crunching riffs and the bittersweet vocals of Stevie Shepperson. They blast through their set with a swagger and confidence which only comes when you've a combined 2000 gigs between your members, with the pick of the bunch being the killer anthem 'Mesmerise'. This four piece could very well be gate-crashing the male dominated British rock scene very soon.
With the unenviable task of following that performance up are Hampshire lads Enjoy Destroy and to be fair to them, they give it a damn good go. Combining QOTSA-style riffs with emo-wailings, theirs is a brand of rock which will no doubt find favour with the teen crowd. Urgent and impassioned, the likes of 'Screamer' provide a decent chance to shout along. Finally before the appearance of the headliners is a performance from current media 'star' Georgina Baillie and her burlesque group, Satanic Sluts. Quite why they are on the bill is uncertain if the stunned silence is anything to go by and they come across as drama students with a fancy for removing clothes.
Entering in a haze of smoke and with lights suited to far larger venues, Som Wardner greets his band's fans by saying it's been far too long. That it has, not that you would tell from a performance which is pretty tight bar the odd interlude between tracks and a slightly ropey rendition of old favourite 'Cemented Shoes'. Songs such as 'Infantile', 'Moodswings' and 'Always Your Way' have aged well, perhaps due to the My Vitriol never having fitted into a movement, instead concentrating on an alt-rock sound that engulfs listeners. The energy is returned by a crowd not purely of nostalgic followers, but from kids who may not even have been in puberty when these tracks were released. A cover of Gnarls Barkley's mega-hit 'Crazy' sees it go from party starter to a sinister monster, while new offering 'War Of The Worlds' is an aptly titled epic soundtrack to the apocalypse. Other new numbers such as 'If Only' also show there is more to come from this band yet, so it'll be no surprise if like nearly a decade ago they are plastered across the music tabloids - but hopefully this time the wait between albums won't be quite so lengthy.