The Vines: Wicked Nature review – unsubtle but effective grunge nuggets

(Wicked Nature)

The Vines' first album, Highly Evolved, was acclaimed in 2002, but the Australian band's success was followed by internal bust-ups and cancelled tour dates blamed on singer Craig Nicholls, whose erratic behaviour included his arrest in 2012 over a punch-up with his parents. Wicked Nature is fan-funded and independently released – and there perhaps lie the roots of its flaws. Nicholls' long-departed 2002 bandmates and a decent record company might have counselled against his co-producing the album, painting a faceless naked woman for its cover artwork and spinning it out to double-album length. The Vines have two kinds of song: the faster ones, which sound like a less angsty Nirvana; and the slower ones, which also sound like a less angsty Nirvana. Songs such as Anything You Say and Metal Zone come laden with unsubtle but effective hooks, loud-quiet-loud dynamics, crunchy riffs and Beatles-esque harmonies. Only on the dreamy Clueless does Nicholls attach his strong sense of melody to a different set of sounds.s


Jon Dennis

The GuardianTramp

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