2002 was a good year for 'Garage Rock' bands with several exploding onto the scene in a big way. The White Stripes and The Strokes gained massive airplay in the States, the Swedish rockers The Hives got worldwide regocnition, and The Vines jumped out of the dirty Sydney streets and onto the world stage (including appearing on the front cover of both NME and Rolling Stone). Thier first album was the explosive Highly Evolved.
The Vines Are:
Craig Nicholls - Vocals, Guitar
Patrick Matthews - Bass, Vocals
Ryan Griffiths - Guitar
Dave Ollife - Drums
1. Highly Evolved
A great choice for an opening track. The guitar riff is very dirty but matches the songs style about beong able to "buy love, from a pay phone". The song finishes with a neat mini guitar solo. Highly Evolved was single of the week in March 2002 in NME and rightly so, however it could of been longer. 4/5
2. Autumn Shade
Mellow out after Highly Evolved, the accoustic guitar takes you to, umm, the backyard" This is a really good chilling song and it highlights Nicholls songwriting skills. The piano and the background organs give this track a good effect, and Nicholls voice is haunting. Matthew's bass line throught the song fits perfectly and the slow guitar solo works brilliantly. The song finishes in feedback and dirty noises, but this is just introducing Outtathaway. 4/5
The feedback from the previous track lead into into some heavy drums from Ollife and the guitar work is nice. The chorus is very catchy and its a live favourite, usual played while Craig smashes something. The solo is great, fits the song perfectly. With a bit of screaming and other going ons at the end of the track, Outtathaway was the 3rd single of this CD. 4.5/5
A nice little guitar work and some nice keyboard work make the song sound very happy and la-la, but after the first verse it rips into a nice solo and the song continues. Trademark Nicholls screaming work well but the song gets a little repedative. Good chilling track, but only gets: 3/5
Wow, easily the most moving track on the album. Soft piano and nice accoustic guitar make this song the 2nd best track on the album. The lyrics are beautiful and the bridge of the song is great. Another mellow ballad, but infinetly better than Autumn Shade. 5/5
6. Get Free
If Homesick was the slowest track on the album, Get Free is the fastest, most rock loving track from 2002. The simple guitar riffs and Craigs singing (especially the long scream in the middle) makes this the best song on the album. If you ever saw the Vines preform on David Letterman, then you understand what kind of atmosphere this track makes (smashes guitar amp) yeah baby. 5/5
7. Country Yard
After Get Free, your all hiped up ready for more fast pumping rock, but you get slapped in the face with the dissapointing Country Yard. Oh Well. Very mellow and its ok for and or two listens, but it gets repedative quickly, but the backing vocals are something to be noted, very nice. 2/5
Happyiness music galore, Factory was the Vines first single before the Highly Evolved album. The song talks about the lives of the people who nut it out in the hard workforce out there, the chorus is very loud compared to the verse, but the guitar works nicely. Good solid track.
9. In The Jungle
The lyrics of this track show the darkness and mystic that Nicholls can put into his songwritting, and his singing. After the verse you get some very interesting bend work on the guitar strings accompained by some shouting from the band, and this works very nicely with the dark atmosphere of the track. The bridge is very very cool, great peice of work. 4/5
10. Mary Jane
Mary Jane, the babe from Spiderman. Yeah, but this song isnt about her. Mary Jane is very mellow, starts quite slowly, and Craigs singing ability in slow songs is highlighted again. This track will eventually bore you with the almost infinite repeat of 'Mary Jane', but this actually highlights the beauty of the track.
11. Ain't No More
Another upbeat track that highlights Matthew's bass playing mainly. The guitar work and lyrics are pretty good, but the bass line provides the focal point for this track. Very The Vines, but not a super track. 3/5
The track opens with a drumming blurb and some distorted guitar, but it quickly ends into the mellow lyrics and mesmerizing vocals of Nicholls, this song is a great finish to a suberb album. 4/5
This is a spectacular debut album, thumbs up all the way round, its pretty hard to classify any of the songs as 'filler' material. Its a shame that the follow up wasnt as spectacular as Highly Evolved. This CD is definately an addition to anyones CD rack. Top Marks.
Songs To Get
- Get Free
- Highly Evolved
- In The Jungle
Enjoy my first review. -Auldy