It’s never been a better time to be a punk/hardcore fan.
Leaving aside the plethora of new and exciting bands constantly springing up all over the place, a lot of veteran acts have taken inspiration from the current climate.
They have re-enthused themselves by putting out records that, while maybe aren’t up their with their best work, certainly see them making much more of an effort than they have been in the last number of years.
And while that doesn’t necessarily apply to Vitamin X (as this is their first release since 2012’s ‘About to Crack’), it’s great to see them bringing out new music.
And it’s even better to admit that it maintains the high standards they’ve set since 2002’s ‘Down the Drain.’
Angry Not Crusty
Amsterdam’s finest have never been ones to adhere to the archetypical crust punk sound, happily incorporating big rock riffs and Stooges style guitar solos.
They really need to be seen to be properly appreciated. But their records are still something to behold and this, their first for Southern Lord, should win over some new fans.
‘Modern Man’ (not a Bad Religion cover) is a suitably speedy and angry opener. It’s angry without being crusty, it’s speedy without being thrash and it rocks without being rawk. So, basically, it’s classic Vitamin X.
Despite the utterly shite title, ‘Rollercoaster Ride’ is a bouncy, almost (dare I say it) punk pop number that demands that the listener jump around their living room. 90 seconds, and it’s over and done with.
Title track ‘Age of Paranoia’ is a strange one, as it starts off as a stoner rock type number, then lurches into a steady pace before hitting the accelerator for the middle half, remaining there until the end.
‘No One’ is very much in the Discharge/Anti Cimex mould, feeling like a reworking of ‘State Violence State Control’ but that’s no bad thing, now is it?
Running at under 25 minutes, the 16 track ‘Age of Paranoia’ is a short, sharp kick in the balls that’s needed in times like this.
Nothing fancy, not reinventing anything. Just life affirming hardcore that gives you that extra stir to do that extra shift in the office for more flexi-time no problem.
Meat and potatoes stuff sure, but that’s just what’s needed at times.
3 / 5 – Christopher Owens ::: 17/05/18