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It's all been done before

The Vines - Vision Valley
1 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: June 15, 2006
The Vines

Review by Andy Argyrakis

When The Vines first broke out from down under in 2002 with Highly Evolved, the group was hailed as the second coming of Nirvana with a little bit of The Strokes thrown in for kicks. Of course, that was when bands like those "Last Night" garage loungers, The White Stripes and The Hives first found major fame, naturally putting these Aussies in the same mix given the partially similar sound but even grungier undercurrent. Two years later, the gang returned with Winning Days, where they were once again crowned with similar accolades, despite the scene in which they rose slipping a bit.

Unfortunately the third time's not nearly as much of a charm (especially for those who own the previous two albums) in the sense that it's merely a rethread of the most meaningful elements from the past with additional layers of radio friendly gloss in hopes of pleasing the present. Evidence of this recycling comes from the garagey get go of "Anysound," a bombastic rocker that attempts to kick up dust, but more realistically falls into the "it's all been done before" category. "Nothin's Comin'" appears next, attempting to capture the Kinks' spirit, but weighed down by contrived distortion that's trying way too hard to be cool.

Despite its title, "Don't Listen To the Radio" could very well be fit for the airwaves, but instead of bringing something gutsy and ingenious to the listening public, it again seems filled with phoned in formula. "Candy Daze" also has an incredibly sugary flavor that may appeal to the senses at first given the luster, but eventually annoys like an unfilled cavity begging for attention. The album even exits on a disappointing note with "Spaceship," a six minute trip through a spaced out abyss that merely leaves listeners hanging for something compelling beyond what they've previously purchased from the group.

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