Album Review: VIAL – Burnout

4/5

Minneapolis-based indie punk trio VIAL have made an explosive return with their newest album, burnout, via Get Better Records. A follow-up from their 2021 release, LOUDMOUTH, the album features high intensity, a genre-bending sonic landscape, and the exploration of themes like chronic illness, fractured friendships, and more.

Burnout opens with the song “two-faced,” which serves as the perfect introduction for what’s to come throughout. It features aggressive riffs and shifting musicality with a theme that seems to juxtapose other songs such as “apathy,” “just fine,” and “therapy pt. iii.”

Each song adds a new layer to VIAL’s established musical repertoire. “Just fine” showcases a simple, upbeat tune while reflecting on feeling content amidst emotional turmoil, whereas the song “falling short” demonstrates pop punk melodies and a singalong that’s sure be a hit at live shows. “Bottle blonde” and “ur dad” highlight the ups and downs that come with having supporting characters in our lives, while the shortest song on the album, “chronic illness flareups,” has a group chant that hits on nostalgia yet gets straight to the point.

What sticks out as one navigates through burnout is how VIAL have managed to blend a multitude of sounds. They effortlessly steer through punk, indie, rock, and more while maintaining the ethos they’ve built for themselves. They balance between energetic shifts and raw, emotional outbursts while demonstrating a rebellious spirit that will catch onto any listener long after the album ends.

Although the album moves at a brisk pace, burnout is sure to leave listeners wanting more. VIAL have crafted a compelling record that captures the essence of chaos and its introspective aftermath, all within a whirlwind of sound.

Burnout is available to stream and purchase here. Follow VIAL on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for further updates.

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