Pop CD: The Vines, Vision Valley

(Heavenly)

Focused, coherent, connected - not words you'd have expected to apply to the Vines' comeback album, which arrives 18 months after singer Craig Nicholls' Asperger syndrome diagnosis.

The press release makes such lurid play of his condition ("deranged yelps", "wailing wreck") that it seems miraculous he even persisted in writing songs, let alone was able to turn them into possibly the best 31 garage-rock minutes you'll hear this year.

This (rather than their mediocre second album) should be taken as the follow-up to their hyped-to-the-heavens 2002 debut, because with Vision Valley the Vines fulfil the promise they showed as the former "Australian Strokes".

Nicholls is detached and dreamy when the occasion demands it (Take Me Back and Going Gone exemplify the group's soft, harmony-drenched side), excitingly arrogant and Iggy Poppish when it doesn't.

The retro-rocking Anysound may kick off with Nicholls declaring, "I am a Vine, all twisted and frayed," but on this album, he doesn't sound in need of sympathy.

Contributor

Caroline Sullivan

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
The Vines, Forum, London

Forum, London

Leonie Cooper

31, Aug, 2006 @9:16 AM

The Vines, Academy, Manchester

Academy, Manchester.

Dave Simpson

30, Oct, 2002 @2:41 AM

Article image
The Vines, Astoria, London

Astoria, London

David Peschek

25, Apr, 2003 @11:34 AM

The Vines, London

Monarch, London

Betty Clarke

12, Mar, 2002 @12:00 AM

The Vines, Electric Ballroom, London

Electric Ballroom, London

Betty Clarke

23, Feb, 2004 @1:56 AM

Article image
Vines cancel live shows over frontman's illness

The Australian band have cancelled all live shows due to a deterioration in their frontman's mental health

Dan Martin

18, Nov, 2008 @10:35 AM

Article image
Vines singer Craig Nicholls charged with assaulting his parents
Nicholls also allegedly injured a police officer and resisted arrest in incident at his family home in Sydney, Australia

Guardian music

17, Oct, 2012 @12:30 PM

Article image
Ian Gittins on record label Fierce Panda, indie's unlikely hero

The Fierce Panda label began as nothing more than a quirky hobby. Then along came Coldplay, Keane and Supergrass ... Ian Gittins on indie's unlikely hero

Ian Gittins

20, Feb, 2009 @12:01 AM

Joker: The Vision – review
With his first 'artist' album, the Bristolian has continued to venture beyond the bounds of genre, writes Paul MacInnes

Paul MacInnes

27, Oct, 2011 @10:00 PM

Pop review: Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Outer South

The sometime Bright Eyes mainman here adds more notches to his musical bedpost, finds Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson

30, Apr, 2009 @11:01 PM