So many bands, trends and scenes have come and gone since Vitamin X first surfaced in the late-90s, but somehow the Amsterdam punx have managed to outlast them all. This is probably something to do with an ever-burning fire in their bellies - Age Of Paranoia’s lead single ‘Modern Man’ contains the spunk of a band half their age - and their ability to incorporate elements of hardcore punk, thrash metal, grindcore and more into their music without ever sounding laboured. Out via Southern Lord (Nails, Power Trip).
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Skatey hardcore boys Vitamin X thrash their way back into existence somehow. It’s been six years since their last record and many more since their heyday, but what you learn to do with your fingers in a punk band seemingly never goes away -- and in their case, neither does the rude ‘tude that sells it. For Southern Lord they do ‘Age of Paranoia’, a record of their gang chanted, riff-proud, adlib-heavy, occasionally soloed hardcore.
They sound as thrashy as ever and better still, very giddy about it: they spend little time dispersing the breakdowns and interludes in what is a rollicking punk record. “Human Plague” is pure Vitamin Xology, its super repetitive riff tumbling up and down in an immense hook before the band chug like grinders Total Fucking Destruction into “No One”. Enjoying all the punx staples, they race their way down the strings and play stern metallic riffs that betray their super humorous approach to what they do. That solo at the start of “Flip the Switch” -- goodness, is it stupid.
It’s good to know Vitamin X still have their part to play in 2018’s hardcore scene. Offering the kind of irreverence and zing they ever traded in as promising young lads, they continue to kick some proverbial butt.
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- Age Of Paranoia by Vitamin X
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