Pitchfork didn’t exactly criticise the collaboration between Breakage & Burial in their review back at the start of March, but a lukewarm score of 6 and a slightly more negative review concluded that “Vial” was “essentially a paint-by-the-numbers reworking of the style he so successfully concocted with Untrue”. Well, all that springs to mind is that I get the feeling that Burial isn’t going to be apologising to Pitchfork anytime soon for not reinventing music for them every 5 minutes. Pretentious twats. The thing is, there is no denying that “Vial” does bear similarities to “Untrue”, but beyond this the reviewer has entirely ignored the intricacies that separate the two and represent some form of progress.
Anyway, even this is beside the point; it’s hardly like he has returned with a track of chugging power chords and knuckle dragging boorishness. Perhaps the biggest mistake of the entire piece is an ignorance of the fact that this is essentially a Breakage track, with Burial only appearing as a contributor. Ultimately, progress is an additional extra; surplus to requirements, but appreciated, yet when you’re so close to the cutting edge of music as Burial is, it’s even less of a requirement, and the bottom line is that if something’s good, then just fucking say it is. Enough of the grating and probing dissertation-esq evaluation of to what exact degree each note is going to change the world. I couldn’t care less.
I might not feel the need to be exceptionally (and excessively) verbose about the whole situation like Pitchfork clearly does, but I should say that this track has completely taken over my musical world right now – with the result that I just can’t let myself listen to anything else. Crudely put, it strikes as a version of Burial’s “Archangel” that has had that sub bass subtly twisted up, with meandering glass tubes and chemistry paraphernalia spread over the top. Maybe that’s seriously why it’s called “Vial”. Maybe it’s seriously not. The end result is the same; one of the most astounding pieces of music I’ve heard this year, whether it adheres to Pitchfork’s concept of “progress” or not.