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The Vines
Best Of The Vines
Capitol Records


It burns my ass when bands prematurely release "Best of" records. Groups with one, maybe two good records kick out a best of package like they've been at the game for years. Now, I know that "best of" packages are generally perpetuated by either a need for money, record contract obligations, ego, or publicity for a new release…. I'd say in the case of The Vines, it's money, ego and the July release of their fourth album, Melodia. Three out of four ain't bad.

Before I'm burned at the stake for blasphemy by Vines fans everywhere, I want to say that I really liked Highly Evolved when it was released in 2002. The Vines were one of the best bands of the garage rock movement that was happening at the time; I was really into the raw, self produced sound of many of the bands. Although I must say that The White Stripes were, and still are, my favorite of the bunch.I was comfortable with Highly Evolved, the album seemed very familiar then it hit me, " Half of this album sounds like Nirvana and the other half comes on like a never before released Beatles' record." My two all-time favorite bands in one disc. Kickass! But imitation is the sincerest form of a lack of originality and sadly, The Vines are far from original. . Where Nirvana, The Beatles and The Kinks (the three bands most heavily pillaged by The Vines) made their impact was their ability to take a bit of something that came before them and then morph it into something revolutionary and entirely their own. Craig Nichols, lead vocals/guitar even took the Vines' name from a band his father had in the 1960's. Although to Craig's credit, his dad's band was spelled Vynes. Big stretch.

Although unoriginal, there are good songs on Best Of The Vines. "Get Free" "Highly Evolved" "Outtathaway", "Animal Machine" and "Ride" are all exceptional rockers in the grand old early 1990's tradition, whereas "Factory" "Autumn Shade" and "Sunchild" have a mellow, spaced out feel that would have made them right at home on any psychedelic record in the 1960's. The long and short of it is, if you miss the sound that made Seattle famous and melodies that made Liverpool a place to be, than Best Of The Vines is for you. If you're looking for something fresh and innovative, then the Best Of or The Vines as a band for that matter, are far from your best options.

-Danny R. Phillips

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