Unlike some of the other bands mentioned in here thus far, My Vitrol were actually from London, and as such, there was an eighteen month period when they were always around. Seriously: I saw them at the Astoria, at ULU, at Dingwalls, at the Shepherds Bush Empire, and at the Camden Falcon, now a
posh modern apartment complex. I’m sure I’ve seen them like ten times, supporting Mansun, King Adora, JJ72, Feeder, at festivals, at random headline gigs… and I don’t even like them that much. What’s most significant about why I kept coming back to My Vitriol despite my, at best, kinda liking them, was that a) two of them were Indian (possibly Sri Lankan?), and b) their PR guy pushed them REALLY heavily. As in, I’m sure I received their album - and their subsequent and entirely superfluous album reissue - at least three times. Also, I heard a rumour that their name was inspired by ‘Brighton Rock’ and that’s one of my favourite novels, so I gave them some extra points for that.
When the album, ‘Fine Lines’, did get released, it had several annoying intro-style snippets, as individual tracks, which led into the singles. This inflated the thing to a 16-track monster, which bugged me at the time, for no good reason.
The band’s primary influences appeared to be My Bloody Valentine and Nirvana, which would usually earn an eye roll and a loud “Snooze!” from me, but in 2012, the band’s best moments still hold up well. ‘Always Your Way’ is a great soaring single with a kick-ass chorus. ‘Losing Touch’ and ‘Cemented Shoes’ are both fairly generic grunge-oriented singles, which still carry something of a punch, and don’t sound overtly whiny. The band used to finish live sets with the song ‘Tongue Tied’, a quiet instrumental that ended up going mental. It was always a pretty thrilling conclusion. Vincent Gallo appeared in the ‘Grounded’ video. Wait, what was that last one?
Once, at the insistence of said PR guy, my friend Natan and I went to interview the band, prior to a gig at Shepherds Bush Empire, supporting Mansun. We went to a pub around the corner, and half the band couldn’t be bothered, and went off to talk with their mates. So, Natan and I chatted with Carolyn and Seth, the bass player and guitarist. I thought it went rather well, both were very nice, and just to give you an idea of how long ago this is, we discussed Zach de la Rocha’s “imminent” solo album. Yikes. I was happily typing it up the following afternoon, and their PR guy called me up, saying that the band had complained about us, that we’d been really horrible, and that we’re never allowed to talk to My Vitriol again. That definitely was unexpected, and took a little sorting out.
That mostly turned me off the band, although our paths continued to cross for a while longer. As far as I can tell, they still haven’t put out a second record. Apparently, they are on the covering-Crazy-bandwagon, and were the last band to rock the Astoria before the Man won.
It has been over a decade since their one and only album, and though the band has not officially split up, it’s hard to see what they’ll do next. It’s always a bad sign when your Wiki page lists two separate hiatuses. At times when I just want to rock out like my teenage self, I could do a lot worse than listening to a bit of My Vitriol.
Don’t forget the Youth Groups Spotify playlist, which features many songs by these guys, and others that have been up here in the past.