My time's a riddle that'll never be solved
incubus1 | 02/10/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Say what you will about The Vines but what is hard to dispute is the fact that they play catchy music. The truth is, though, that although the entire CD is catchy, only about half is really good.
The Vines have that burden of only being amazing when their music is of the harder variety. Slower songs such as Autumn Shade just feel depressing. However there is the occassional exception, such as Homesick, which sounds like it was ripped straight out of The Beatles catalog (vocals and all). But songs like Outtathaway and Get Free are songs, no matter what you do, will somehow get in your head. The dual vocals The Vines sport works at times, but then sometimes they drag down the pace of the track, so it tends to be hit and miss.
The guitar work brings back the feel of the grunge scene that was so popular in the 90s. I don't mind that however, I loved that period of music and the fact that The Vines, quite successfully, put their own twist (albeit a small twist) on it is something I really like. So while they're not particularly breaking any new ground, and the songs tend to lack that certain distinctiveness, The Vines are a good band full of potential.
My favorite songs are Highly Evolved, Outtathaway, Homesick, Get Free, and In The Jungle. This is the type of CD that is sure to grow on you, given some time. Overall the CD does drag more than I'd like it to, but it's still a very upbeat, straight forward rock record that is sure to please a lot of people."
One of the Best Albums of 2002!
Hello | New York | 02/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Highly Evolved is one of the best rock albums I have ever listened to and I listen to everything! This cd came out in 2002 and since then I have not stopped listening to it and now we are in the year 2006. As soon as this album grows on you there is not turning back. This album is a must have!"
Back to the future!
dfle3 | Australia | 07/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
It looks like some of the things I wanted to say about this album have been pre-empted by the official Amazon review here. I think I can bring something new to these comments though.
Firstly, I bought this album as part of a two cd collection which cost around $15 here in Australia-Highly Evolved & Winning Days. Both albums featured songs that I knew and liked-Get Free for the first album, and Ride With Me for the second. At this price, I took a chance by buying this double pack.
I have heard that this band, along with The Strokes, were labelled "The future of rock" by some apparently influential British magazine. Having bought The Stroke's "Is this it?" because it was dirt cheap and I loved the song "Last night", I have to say that I do find The Vines' debut album the superior of the two [Is This It? seems to get mentioned as a great album-perhaps specifically a great debut album].
Anyway, Get Free is THE stand out track on this album. It's one of those instantly likable high energy rock songs-think along the lines of Blur's classic "Song 2". It's not quite in the same league as Song 2, but it is a very 'wild as' rock song in any case. Now, to the reason I called this review "Back to the future!": Get Free MOST reminds me of The Easybeats' song "I'll make you happy". The Easybeats were a very successful band in Australia in the 60's and had a one hit wonder worldwide, which was covered by the likes of David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen, in "Friday on my mind" [a true pop classic]. Recently, an industry panel here in Australia has voted the meeting of two of this bands members as the most significant moment in Australian music history. This claim does not strike me as manifestly absurd. "Get Free" SOUNDS like The Easybeats at their best, but with a more modern rock aesthetic-the lyrical structure is similar to the Easybeats, as well as the backing vocals too. Seeing as The Easybeats featured the elder brother of AC/DC founders Angus and Malcolm Young, one could perhaps assert that The Easybeats also influenced AC/DC with regards to backing vocals.
Now, for other reasons I called this review "Back to the future!": in various songs, you can hear a hint of Nirvana, or The Kinks, or The Beatles or Pink Floyd. Perhaps The Beatles & John Lennon are the strongest influence on this album and that's perhaps why that British magazine took so well to The Vines.
Perhaps the best songs after Get Free are:
Highly Evolved-has a hint of Nirvana to it, grungy guitars and shrieking vocals at times.
Outtathaway-this has a nice clean riff to it and, as for many songs on this album, the lead singer having doubled up vocals on the track, or backing singers. This song has a grungy/garage band sound at times.
Country Yard-again, a touch of Nirvana to this song, with Beatle-esque/Lennonesque vocals, perhaps a touch of The Kinks, lyrics or topic wise, and the introductory riff from Pink Floyd's classic "Wish you were here". This is the kind of song that could grow on you-it's sort of a ballad, with sedate vocals and a very nice almost falsetto vocalisation at times, which is quite catchy. Very dreamy/trippy song.
Some other notes I made on this album-mainly to do with similarities I noticed with other music:
In The Jungle-has what sounds like Metallica's bass line from "Enter Sandman", which may also have borrowed that from a Deep Purple song.
Autumn Shade-features accoustic guitar, piano. A ballad that has a hint of The Beatles/Oasis [which themselves often homage The Beatles] and Pink Floyd. Has distortion at the end which bleeds nicely into the next track.
Homesick-Beatle-esque/Lennon-ish, reminescent of the latter Australian band Jet, which often seem to pay homage to The Beatles [and which is probably why Oasis helped them with their second album]. The vocals are overlayed, again, and there are nice piano and bass melodies in this song. The outro is Beatle-esque...sounds like backwards noises.
Ain't No Room-this song had a touch of The Strokes to it, but I don't know which band could lay claim to that sound first, The Strokes or The Vines.
Lastly, I have to say that this album is an album album for me [i.e.the whole album is very listenable and it could reward further listens, beyond just the 'hit' of this album, "Get Free". Like I say, a song like Country Yard is a real 'grower' of a song-rewarding repeated listens.
The album moves from dreamy ballads to punk rock type of stuff. It does this in an engaging way. Personally, I think that this album is more interesting than Is This It?, even though Last Night is an original song with lots of melodically interesting things happening in it.
I've reviewed the following Australian artists at this site: