|artwork by John Baizley|
Ingredient A: the charging vocals, somehow sonically communicating imminent grey matter disaster. Whereas some intonations simply telegraph angst or unrest, "Maelstrom," for example, manages a microcosm of minutiae, somehow forging the specific sound of engorged veins along a temple constantly on the verge of hemorrhage. Stir in an avalanche of drums, such as those created on "Straight Back" or "Shatter the Beast," the destructive power of which the band can only barely outpace. Put some muted bass in the mix, fighting and flailing as though being suffocated beneath the very weight of the music ("Sick and Tired" and "Outta Here," among others) and cut it all to shreds with a single fully-loaded guitar firing without pause into the abyss all the while. About to Crack finds all the ingredients that make up Vitamin X in a pressure cooker with Steve Albini at - or perhaps having abandoned - the controls, all burners simply left on high and fatal fissure all but guaranteed.
As addictive as 5/12 of its title, About to Crack is a feast of a fix composed and concocted of broken things. Fourteen shards of sound that get under the skin, each one itself tasting distinctly of dysfunctional pieces of the here and now. Vitamin X seem to know it's all hard to swallow and coat it with just enough sugar to leave you smiling as they shove each number down your throat.
About to Crack is out September 11, 2012 from Tankcrimes.