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The Vines - Melodia

The Vines, Melodia

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

THE Vines may not be as “in demand” as they were when their debut album Highly Evolved first dropped and saw everyone comparing them to the likes of The Hives, The White Stripes and The Strokes in terms of world-dominating capability. But they’ve had a lot to deal with since then… and yet continue to be a great band.

Winning Days, their sophomore effort, was critically-acclaimed but came at a time when they were reaching a crossroads in their career. Singer Craig Nicholls was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome (a high functioning form of autism) and the band were forced to take a hiatus while he came to terms with it.

Vision Valley, their third album, almost crept into record stores but still showcased a band dripping with talent, and very much paved the way for them to return to the live spotlight slowly. Now that mission has been accomplished, The Vines – and Nicholls in particular – appears to be firing on all cylinders.

Melodia, their fourth and newest album, is a triumphant return to form that confidently mixes power with tenderness and plenty more besides. Spearheaded by the single He’s A Rocker, which truly recaptures their early fire, it offers 14 songs of varying length and style that remind you just why they were hailed as such a great band in the first place.

The album begins with a bang, courtesy of the speedball Get Out, and the pummelling Manger, before slowing things down for the dreamy day-style AS III (a real slice of acoustic psychedelia). He’s A Rocker once again blows the cobwebs from the stereo, before Orange Amber maintains the momenthm with its breezy acoustic licks and shimmering chorus. It’s a real summer anthem to carry you through the winter.

Thereafter, the hits keep on coming. True As The Night is another psychedelia-laced comedown that underlines just how good they are at writing tranquil, thought-provoking numbers, while a contrast arrives in the Nirvana-laced Braindead, which is all volativity and, arguably, the heaviest song on the LP.

Kara Jayne is melodic and really rather lovely, Merrygoround a fun mid-tempo rocker, and Hey an easygoing crowd-pleaser that offers a really great listen without ever necessarily stretching them.

Indeed, there’s not much in the material that opens them up and really takes them in any new direction, but given the problems surrounding them personally over recent years, it’s just great to have them back. And album closer She Is Gone is an epic slow-builder to round things off in utmost style – all ripping guitar riffs and angel’s sigh vocals. It ensures that The Vines are definitely a band worth getting excited about once again.

Download picks: True As The Night, He’s A Rocker, She Is Gone, Kara Jayne, AS III, Get Out, Braindead, Hey

Track listing:

  1. Get Out
  2. Manger
  3. A.S III
  4. He’s A Rocker
  5. Orange Amber
  6. Jamola
  7. True As The Night
  8. Braindead
  9. Kara Jayne
  10. Merrygoround
  11. Hey
  12. A Girl I Knew
  13. Scream
  14. She Is Gone

  1. At last! Someone who appreciates just how good The Vines really are! Braidead, He’s A Rocker and Get Out are my picks from the album. It’s good to hear them back to their hard-rocking former glory.

    Simone    Oct 8    #