our score: 3.0 out of 5.0
British mags you'd be hard-pressed to avoid any mention of The
Vines and they're status as the supposed "future of rock
'n' roll." Their debut album, Highly Evolved was
the talk of the rags for months before even hitting stores; it
was supposed to usher in a new era in rock music. Unfortunately,
all this talk was for the most part just that - talk.
To be fair
from the outset, Highly Evolved showcases The Vines as
an excellent band. You'd be hard-pressed to find problems in their
playing, and even the songwriting is fairly strong. The problem
here is an overall lack of cohesion and direction.
debut single, "Get Free," the band is being hailed as
the best hard-edged grunge rock since Bleach-era Nirvana,
and it's a fair assertion. Also fair are the assertions of the
band's Beatles-esque acoustic feel. Songs like "Homesick"
and "Mary Jane" are unbelievably fantastic ballads featuring
piano lines, searing guitars, and spectacular vocal harmonizations.
Each song is excellent in it's own right, yet together they act
as nothing more than a collection of songs.
lot to be said about being compared so religiously to obvious
influences such as The Beatles and Nirvana, and The Vines do much
more than simply rip-off their styles as so many bands (see Nickelback,
etc.) have done with their influences. They act as more than a
a cover band with different lyrics; their songwriting is definitely
excellent. Where the band starts running into problems is in finding
it's own voice. It's one thing to be able to play so
excellently in the style of your influences, it's another thing
to find your own voice. The Vines still have to find theirs.
Evolved showcases everything classic rock 'n' roll has taught
us, yet it rarely takes us anyplace new. By so abruptly changing
styles between tracks, the listener is treated to a jarring listening
experience which can greatly detract from enjoyment of an album
as a whole. Surely these songs work on their own, but The Vines
are sorely in need of finding a direction and sticking to it.
doubt they'll be bringing us countless more albums, so our advice
to them is this: Take your time exploring and give us a few larger
packages in the future, don't feel you have to prove yourselves
- you've already done that.
liked Highly Evolved...
2. Autumn Shade
6. Get Free
7. Country Yard
9. In the Jungle
10. Mary Jane
11. Ain't No Room