19 February 2004

could there be a more unfashionable band than the vines right now? well, maybe jet. regardless, i was a rather staunch supporter of the band following their first album, and what i appreciated, more than the cod-nirvana rockers, were the quiet, folk-inflected songs that represented craig nicholls' innate talent for both melody and harmony. i've heard the new album, winning days, and, yes, once again, it's the more meditative tracks that win the day, in particular "rainfall" and "winning days" itself. both feature acoustic guitars and beach boys-influenced harmonies (the latter even features a string section), and though i've never been to australia, both seem to tell me a lot about what it might be like to experience the country at its most beautiful (though finney would know better).

unfortunately, two of the uptempo tracks seem set to be radio singles, "ride" and "ftw." "ride" is -- well, as boring as a long-distance trip in the back of your parents' car. "ftw," in full "fuck the world" is -- well, perhaps one sees the problem already, eh? it has a great bassline and the screaming is admirable, but it's called "fuck the world." this side of the strokes or perhaps puddle of mudd, the vines are the worst act to have a song with that title as it only painfully calls to mind that craig is "mental," that the man don't give a fuck. (craig: you're mad, we understand, but that doesn't give you the right.) the chorus goes "come on, fuck the world," so if one uses their imagination, maybe he or she could recast it as an ode to making out with mother earth, but that strikes me as tenuous. so it seems as if the vines will be the first of the garage rock revival bands to fall off the face of the earth, with the hives set to plead their case this spring. damn it, i really liked my vines t-shirt too.

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