The Vines - Highly Evolved (Cover Artwork)

The Vines

Highly Evolved (2002)


Are the Vines yet another over-hyped "garage rock" band, you ask? The answer is a resounding "yes!" While I can name 10 current rock bands that bite the feces of the Vines (ie. Puddle of Mudd), their hype to non-suckness ratio isn't very flattering. NME and the British press are basically touting them as the next Nirvana, but they are more like the next Silverchair (that's a bad thing, in case you didn't know).

Highly Evolved, the Vines' debut release, offers nothing new nor do they do anything existing well enough to make them interesting. Though I had low expectations for this album, I was expecting something with a little more rock, but the sad truth is the fairly boring single "Get Free" is by far the heaviest track offered here. Most of the songs are little ditties that trod along in a manner that seems to mix the worst parts of hair-metal ballads with the worst parts of bad piano-rock. These songs, such as "Homesick", "Autumn Shade", and "Mary Jane", really make me scratch my head at what makes people consider these guys a garage rock band. The more rockin' songs like "Ain't No Room", "Outtathaway!", "Get Free", and "Highly Evolved" are waayyy too polished. And while the structure of lots of these songs is fairly tight, it isn't in a good way–the result is quite bland. The three best songs here are the two singles, "Get Free" and "Highly Evolved", and the slightly atmospheric "Country Yard". I think the fact that I state "Get Free" as one of the best songs on this album whilst it has more than worn out its welcome with me, with its forced vocal spasms and pure tedium, speaks a great deal about the overall quality of this album. My advice to you is if you are looking for an album that typifies this so-called "neo-garage rock explosion", buy the New Bomb Turks's latest album or something by The Hives. If you are into Top 40 radio, and this isn't a knock, you may be interested in picking this up as it is one of the better things on the radio these days (which says a lot about the current state of radio).

Another pimp-fresh review from Ercoaidem Seirtsudni.