The more Vision Valley
is listened to, the more the listener is forced to realize the one word that describes it oh so well: Average. Nothing more, nothing less. The Vines have created a half-hour of pure, distorted mediocrity with a few swear words thrown in for good measure. Paling in comparison to their previous albums, Vision Valley
takes everything that was good about The Vines, backs it down a couple of notches, cleans it up with ultra-clear production, and packages it in a tidy black CD case.
With all but one of the songs on it lasting for less than three minutes, Vision Valley
needed every single track to be powerful, to be the perfect song. The Vines just weren’t capable of writing thirteen ideal mainstream rock songs, and it shows through on this disc. Nichol’s vocals have become even more Cobain-like, as has everything else about The Vines. The quiet, clean guitar verses that lead into loud, distorted choruses and a bridge here and there all scream Nirvana, so much so that it gets annoying after a few listens.
The only songs that stray away from the Nirvana style are a handful of country ballads. Though one has a guitar going in the background that sounds eerily similar to “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams" by Green Day, the other two bring back the odd, almost ethereal vibe The Vines have had on their slow songs in the past. They also bring a nice change from the songs that you listen to and think, “Are they joking?" Songs like Candy Daze, which sounds like The Vines listened to every Beatles CD and then tried to write a Beatles song, but still had Nirvana in the back of their minds. The song called Futuretarded speaks for itself.
The thing that is most upsetting about this album is that some of the songs on it sound like they have the potential to be great, but end barely before they begin. Gross Out is a prime example of this. Just as you start to get into it, it’s over, and leads right into another painfully undeveloped song. It seems like The Vines are giving up, just putting out albums to make money instead of for the music itself. Almost all of the songs seem forced, as well, like they were in the studio and told they had a day to write an album, and out came Vision Valley
However, when The Vines get it right, they exceed expectations by far. F*k Yeh is two minutes of pure anger, a rare time when Craig actually sounds upset as he screams out the lyrics. The country ballads are all laid back and well written, a nice change of pace from, say, Candy Daze. Don’t Listen To The Radio is the only time when the quiet-loud method works perfectly on the entire album, and is the best track on Vision Valley
If this album is evident of anything it’s that The Vines are falling apart. As a whole, this is so far below their other two albums that it shouldn’t even be talked about in the same breath as them. The lack of interesting songs, the fact that it is only half an hour, and that every song seems a little underdeveloped makes Vision Valley
worth just a 3. Definitely not bad, but just not as great as Winning Days
and Highly Evolved