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Vines | Highly Evolved | review | rock | Lollipop

The Vines

Highly Evolved (Capitol)
by Brad Reed

The Brit music press has been hyping this band up through my urethra, which initially made me pretty suspicious over whether they were any good (I'm still bitter about the Starsailor debacle). However, what the hype machine failed to recognize when dropping accolades on The Vines ("They're the next Nirvana!") was that this band is simply a group of guys who know how to write good songs. That's it. No major cultural relevance, no rock'n'roll revolution, just really nice songs. "Get Free," which is receiving modern rock radio play, is a fresh kick to the groin; two minutes of raw, ear-splitting anger. "Outtathaway!" is equal parts The Jam, Nirvana, and early The Who (the break in the middle reminds me distinctly of the break in "Anyway, Anywhere, Anyhow"). But the band is much more diverse than many in the garage rock revival (i.e. The Strokes and The Hives). For instance, "Factory" is a pop song Ray Davies would've been proud of, while "Country Yard" and "Autumn Shade" are the type of wistfully slow numbers that Oasis used to be so good at. The album is less "the fresh face of rock" and more an amalgamation of every great band of the last 40 years. That isn't a bad thing, incidentally: I haven't been able to stop listening to it for a couple of days now.

 


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