The Boston Globe – October 2008
The band calls it a “sci-fi mafia love story.” This critic calls “Red Planet”, the heady sophomore CD from Boston’s Vital Might (below), a dramatic rock throwdown that blows away expectations – smart, heavy, and imaginative. Tonight, Cassavettes, Build a Machine, and A Hero Next Door help the Vital Might celebrate the new CD at the Middle East. – Tristram Lozaw
Relix Magazine – October 2008
Grunge, metal, and psychedelic instrumentals are fused together with Andy Milk’s darkly mysterious voice in The Vital Might’s newly-released second album, Red Planet….The CD begins in an explosion of aching lyrics and heavy guitar riffs, reminiscent of Rage Against the Machine’s Evil Empire, followed pleasantly and strategically by more wistful moments that lend themselves to the experimental, psychedelic sound of Sigur Ros. Hungry moshers start your engines: These boys live to play shows. – Heather Simon
Northeast Performer – January 2009
The Vital Might has created a quality progressive- alternative rock album with their release Red Planet. The album has all the characteristic rock elements, including strong electric guitar providing a loud foundation to their sound, but the band’s inventiveness within their genre proves to make their album and their sound more multifaceted than their peers’. The band takes cues from Radiohead to stray, albeit not that far, from previously developed rock standards. They deconstruct the verse-chorus-verse- chorus-bridge pattern and have their vocal parts border on sporadic. The band also has the ability to create interesting guitar compositions that set them apart from bands with a similar sound, such as A Perfect Circle.
Their variety also sets them apart from the alternative prog rock scene. The Vital Might have managed to add enough dimensionality to their album that it’s hard to expect what will happen as the album progresses; the opening track “Phantom Spaceman,” for example, tells a story of fighting a spaceman to get to a captured woman. Following are two unexpected instrumental tracks, and, toward the end of the album, the lead singer begins to sing an octave higher.
“Superstitious Wish” is a perfect example of the band’s ability to take inspiration from various sounds within their genre. They draw from Red Hot Chili Peppers in their fast-paced drums and quick tempo changes and then Evanescence by recruiting an Amy Lee-sounding singer to do backing vocals. The Vital Might’s Red Planet takes alternative progressive rock one step further than their peers’ attempts by making their album a must-listen for those who appreciate intense and loud instrumentation. -Kelley Allenspach
Skope Magazine – October 2008
The Vital Might, from Cambridge, MA, mixes pop vocals with bits of metal, progressive rock, and funk. Guitarist and songwriter, Andy Milk, pulls ideas from a quirky place that result in a strange mix of reality and the Twilight Zone. The band’s “Phantom Spaceman” and “Bird of Black Fire” lays out strange content in a freshly different way just like Primus did with their off-beat “Pork Soda.” That unique The Vital Might sound comes from Milk’s inventive guitar, Rick Gauthier’s structured bass, and Evan Kraker’s non-standard beats. “Don’t Mind Me,” from their debut album, Obsidian, in 2006 was featured on The Young and the Restless last fall. Their latest CD, Red Planet, comes out this month. Look for it.
Cape Cod Times – October 2008
The band’s Web site says some fans have compared it to Rush, others to System of a Down. Seems about right. What really sets Vital Might (a Boston trio that includes Cape native Andy Milk on guitar and vocals) apart is its lyrical creativity. The band’s press release describes “Red Planet” as the tale of a man who tries to rescue his lover after she’s kidnapped by Mafia thugs and held at the home of a mob boss — on Mars. Now that’s entertainment.
Mish Mash Music Reviews – September 2008
The Vital Might is a modern rock amalgam, showcasing all that is good and worthy in the current state of progressive modern rock. Their approach is dynamic, moments of easiness surrounded by sheer loudness, a towering haze of condensed sound layers that shift throughout. Think The Mars Volta meets the Doves, with a dash of early Radiohead thrown in for good measure…(read full review)
Northeaster Performer – October 2007
While all four bands sported different takes on alternative rock, the opener, Vital Might, seemed to have a dozen different takes on the genre. Their sound often straddled multiple genres within every song, which was refreshing and disorienting all at once. Metal, pop punk, emo, prog-rock — it was all there in a surprisingly cohesive concoction. The band was rock solid, and the Upstairs’ acoustics suited their sound well: chugging distorted chords, swirling bass melodies and colossal-sounding drums engulfed the room. Drummer Evan Kraker stole the show, though, with his Danny Carey-influenced approach to progressive metal drumming, including remarkable one-handed choked crashes and inventive ride patterns. Vocalist Andy Milk delivered an impassioned performance, and was sweating profusely from the beginning to the end of the show — always a good sign that a singer’s giving 110%.
Sabbath and Sunny Day Real Estate would be proud. The Vital Might channel both bands and go beyond into original territory on Obsidian, a release that reinforces its own urgency and import over 13 strongly crafted and performed songs…Singer/guitarist Andy Milk, bassist/singer Ben Didsbury and drummer Evan Kraker form a tight unit, able to pull off myriad stylistic considerations without collapsing into pretension. The songcraft is evident: while the band can veer from sustained wall-of-sound bridges to gentle clean chords and rim shot choruses on a dime, all transitions are logical, orderly and perfectly placed. No throwing in a two-measure 7/4 break for the sake of it here. The lyrics are intelligent, evoking themes of internal questions and coming to terms. And the playing? Well yeah, these lads have some chops…These are songs that demand your attention. One would do well to make time for The Vital Might, however. Obsidian is the work of a tight band playing strong material very well. And that’s about as good as music gets.
Worcester Telegram & Gazette – March 2007
“Obsidian” offers such artful balance, with the Vital Might stretching to cover the uptempo charge of “These Strange Lives Inside” as well as dramatic sweep of “Slow and Sound.” Tight song craft makes a bunch of the songs – “Bird of Black Fire,” “Fly In Form,” “North of Bloody” – shine brightly for these rising Boston rockers.
Judging by “Obsidian,” that turned out to be a pretty good rule. Milk has a pliant voice and the limber rhythm section can aptly suit the different tones and textures he adopts to sell a song. The first single off of “Obsidian” is “Bird of Black Fire,” a richly layered song that boasts a loping “White album”-style melody and fuzzy staccato beats wrapped around urgent, live-for-the-moment lyrics.
Aquarian Magazine – March 2007
The band cleverly fuses elements of rock and funk with
just the right amount of pop to make a completely inviting
new style. This progressive blend of various influences and
strong sounds transcends music into a whole movement. In
response to the typical scope of rock, The Vital Might
undeniably surpass what is expected for a richer, more honest
approach. With integrity and passion, the band fills the void
of what is often overlooked in music and gives back a total
package of sound and feeling.
The Hippo – December 2006
Eric W. Saeger
I don’t even want another local act to break big and become pasteurized gunk like Godsmack did. But chances are very good that Vital Might will get the chance. This band is literally inventing (or QC-ing, if you think Mars Volta is, like, good) modern prog, pitting latter-day Don Caballero against emo, Radiohead, Live and Extreme to – finally – produce something Generation Zzz can be proud of and call its own. The hooks are tremendous, the arrangements are genius. For your next mix burn, download “Mist of Crystals” and “North of Bloody,” or someday you’ll be having another “Godsmack’s from around here?” moment. A
The Noise – December 2006
THE VITAL MIGHT
Let’s Get Awesome Music
The band recorded a large chunk of Obsidian in a haunted theatre up in New Hampshire and dark, dingy, smoky rehearsal studios in Allston. I’m not sure which place was creepier but the result is magnificent. Thirteen songs that combine thundering percussion, massive guitars, and clever poetry, and create a sonic experience like no other. The songs are quirky, the arrangements are complex yet powerful, and the melodies are as unpredictable as they are catchy, reminiscent of another one of my favorite Boston bands, Hybrasil. Strong songwriting seems to be the core of this band, but that doesn’t stop them from playing the hell out of these songs. If one thing can be said about these guys, it’s that The Vital Might are intense. Prog-rock and psychedelia come head to head on track number two “Fly in Form,” that combines some in-your-face, mind blowing grooves and infectious vocal harmonies. An epic series of ripping drum rolls sweeps me away on “Measure.” “Don’t Mind Me,” is another standout song, featuring Dana Colley (Morphine/ Twinemen) on saxophone. Though the album is quite accessible all around, the radio is probably going to eat up “Bird of Black Fire”—arguably the most upbeat and mainstream of the tunes. (Kier Byrnes)
Boston Herald – December 2006
Andy Milk’s chameleon voice takes you on a journey that evokes Pink Floyd, Buckcherry, Tool and the Red Hot Chili Peppers…Now the Vital Might has a debut album, “Obsidian,” that shows surprising emotional range. The single “Bird of Black Fire” is roller-coaster intense, but “Mist of Crystals” echoes Pink Floyd’s psychedelic melancholy.
wbcn 104.1/local music director
“Alt-drama rock” and “THE VITAL MIGHT are proving they are a band to be reckoned with.”
Bostonist.com – December 2006
Just turning 1 1/2 years old, local power trio The Vital Might are releasing their debut album on their own Let’s Get Awesome label. Obsidian is heavy-laden with guitars and forceful percussion, plus a smattering of psychedelia and dance-rock. Lyrical imagery ranges from black birds over black oceans to mundane T rides into town, delivered in modern-rock vocals and staccato choruses. Morphine’s Dana Colley plays saxophone on one of the more contemplative tracks.
The Patriot Ledger
“The Day,” The Vital Might (self- released)
“The Day” is part of the three-song demo we received from Boston-based emo upstarts The Vital Might, and it’s a knotty little wonder: angsty, wailing vocals, distortion-guitar whirlpools, that sort of stuff…We also hear the swarthier alt-rock leanings of Incubus, Tool and even Red Hot Chili Peppers in their sound, as well. Their bio says they’ve been together less than a year; the buzz they’ve managed already is impressive.
The Noise – December 2005
THE VITAL MIGHT
This guy’s voice sounds a little bit like Ted Leo. But instead of taking a simple approach, The Vital Might certainly take on a bit more of an ambitious template…It really works on the disc’s final track, “The Day,” where the distortion pedal is doing what it’s supposed to, and that is making the little hairs on the back of your neck stand up. The triumphant chorus makes me want to save kids from a burning building…“The Day” is a fantastic song. If these guys could write more songs like that, they will have a new fan on their hands.
Boston Live Magazine – December 2005
November 18, 2005
The Vital Might and Fighting Gravity
The Vital Might played a fun, energetic set to enthusiastic audience response…”Martyr” opened the band’s eleven-song set-a catchy melody with punchy vocals. This is what I like to call a “clean-your-room-song,” something good to yell along with while throwing dirty laundry into piles, frantically crushing old bills and receipts into tiny balls and angrily scraping your roomate’s gum out of the carpet.