1988 has been heralded as the halcyon days of youth-crew hardcore. All the bands were posi and all the bands were...good? Okay let's not push it folks, for every Judge and Gorilla Biscuits there was a Wide Awake or an Up Front opening for them. By today's standards it's hard to believe that Youth of Today was allowed to put out records, let alone Halfmast. Youth-crew in 2006 has transformed itself into a perfected art form. All the bands have the right shoes and the right crucial band shirts. They also know exactly when to execute some mosh or a two-step part. Or they know when to have the best stage bending pile on. It's all been done before and now it's been done right.
Sometimes I miss the days of lore when the bands all had their hearts in the right places, but sometimes their guitar riffs and drum fills were not. Luckily, Vitality! brings that all back to me with their fifteen-song CD Introspection. This is quite the excursion back to Ã¢â¬Ë88 with its fast one-two drumming, shouted vocals, cheesy guitars solos, super posi lyrics (they have a song called, "Stoked on Life") and messy mosh parts to make the kids do the lawnmower or punch the floorboards.
Vitality! even up the old school ante by having a hardcore talking part in "Release" and then one upping that by naming off the band in "Step Back." Yeah that's right naming off the band as in so and so on guitar and this dude on bass. I haven't heard that since I watched a Bruce Springsteen concert on VH1 classic.
The first eight songs on Introspection is the actual EP while the remaining tracks are from the demo. The EP tries too hard by adding in some crock rock guitar licks and the vocals are pushed way too far up in the mix. I don't know what they were trying for but it's not working in their favor. The demo, on the other hand, fucking smokes with great simple guitar work, fun mosh parts, and just overall better songs. Even the songs they re-recorded for the EP sound better on the demo. I'm not usually one of those people that thinks the demo is the best thing a band does but in the case of Vitality!, the demo is superior to the EP.
I love it when the singer David calls out the bass solos. I love it that this band named themselves after the best Beyond song. I love that Vitality! remembers the days where you didn't have to be perfect at what you did as long you put everything you had behind it and had some fun. I don't however like the wanky guitar solos or the lackluster production on the Introspection EP. Vitality! should go back to their demo days where they recall days of Turning Point, Break Point, and Fastbreak. Drop the hot licks, bring back the fun, and in a few years your hoodies, Vitality!, might even go for $100 dollars on eBay.
6.5 / 10
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