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neumu
Friday, July 25, 2014 
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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive



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artist
The Vines
recording
Highly Evolved
Capitol
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To find a band as hyped as The Vines have been in the weeks leading up to the release of their debut album, Highly Evolved, you have to go all the way back to... May? The Vines, four young Australians, have spent the summer garnering the sort of breathless coverage that in the spring seemed reserved for Swedish punk outfit The Hives or, a year ago, The Strokes; they are, according to one British glossy, "the future of rock."

It's hard to figure out exactly why everybody is so excited about this record. True, the title track/first single comes busting out of the gate with a tight 94 seconds of crunching guitars and urgent, howling vocals: "I'm feelin' happy," sings Craig Nicholls. "So highly evolved." And "Outathaway!" which opens with Hamish Rosser assaulting his drum kit and Nicholls telling listeners that "We're not fucking around," may even be better. It has a lean and grimy sound that can't be taught.

There are several other keepers. "Get Free" is an anthemic bit of post-punk that falls somewhere along the Pixies-Nirvana axis, and "Ain't No Room" is propelled by Nicholls' occasionally buried vocals and Patrick Matthews' surging bass.

That said, there are a surprising number of tracks that seem unfinished, or worse, overproduced. "Homesick," a tear-jerking ballad that would make Poison frontman Bret Michaels jealous, is an affront to good taste. Complete with a powerhouse guitar solo and lyrics that are both maudlin and mundane — "It really doesn't matter/ Couldn't change it if I tried/ It really doesn't matter/ I'll do it till I get it right" — it is "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" for the indie set. "In the Jungle," which starts with Blue Öyster Cult-like guitars and goes out with 15 seconds of Sonic Youth-esque feedback, is equally uninspiring.

And then there is a track called "Factory," which sounds like nothing so much as an outtake from the Yellow Submarine sessions — it is pretty and bouncy and it has the obligatory soaring harmonies. The Vines are a band of guys who grew up listening to Lennon/McCartney songs, and that's fine. But the last thing anyone needs is another band that plays Beatles covers.

"Factory" is emblematic of the record as a whole. There is something there to like — plenty, in fact. But it is also disjointed and sometimes maddening. It's a record that shows off a bit too much, made by a band that isn't sure what it wants to be, at least not yet.


by Kevin Canfield




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