If you think rock ‘n’ roll is a thing of the past, then think again, brother. Australian newcomers The Vines are one of many bands to embody the overdue rock revival, joining such acts as The Strokes, The White Stripes and The Hives.
On the surface, The Vines seem to have all the necessary requirements to join rock’s new revolution: a garagey retro sound, messy hair, a hit video directed by somebody named Coppola and a boatload of advance hype. Yet their U.S. debut album, Highly Evolved, lacks the raw energy of albums released by their peers in the last year.
Frontman Craig Nicholls’ songwriting talent shines on short songs like “Highly Evolved,” “Outtathaway” and “Get Free,” but when song lengths pass the five-minute mark, you find yourself wishing they were four minutes shorter. The disc’s dull moments can be blamed on overproduction (Highly Evolved was mixed by Andy Wallace, who is infamous for his glossed-over production of Nirvana’s Nevermind), but the band must shoulder some of the blame.
Nonetheless, Highly Evolved establishes The Vines as a band to watch. They could even, with time, redeem Australia’s Silverchair sins. But the rebirth of original rock ‘n’ roll is still awaiting something greater.
[AC Scordelis’s dull moments can be blamed on your own short attention span.]