The Vines: Craig Nicholls (vocals, guitar, piano, percussion); Patrick Matthews (piano, organ, bass, background vocals); David Olliffe (drums).
Additional personnel: Rob Schnapf (guitar); Roger Joseph Manning Jr (keyboards); Pete Thomas, Joey Waronker, Victor Indrizzo (drums); Ethan Johns, Steven Rhoades (percussion).
Recorded at Sound Factory and Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood, California between July 2001 and February 2002.
Most folks first became aware of Australian rockers the Vines via their cover of the Beatles' "I'm Only Sleeping" on 2001's I AM SAM soundtrack album. A few months down the line, their 2002 debut album HIGHLY EVOLVED took the UK by storm. Shortly thereafter, the album was released in the US with high hopes. The group's basic, no-frills guitar rock should find plenty of friends among fans of the Strokes, the Hives, White Stripes, etc. It's rock & roll stripped to the bone, pared down to charging riffs that reference such evergreen influences as the Stooges and the MC5, and sharp songcraft with echoes of everything from T. Rex to Nirvana. There are a couple of softer moments on HIGHLY EVOLVED, such as the ruminative "Autumn Shade" and the contemplative "Homesick," but for the most part these Aussie lads lead an electrified charge with all guns blazing, frenzied vocals and sledgehammer rhythms belting out their battle cry of rock with a capital "r."
The Vines: Craig Nicholls (vocals, guitar, Moog synthesizer, percussion); Ryan Griffiths (guitar); Patrick Matthews (piano, keyboards, bass); Hamish Rosser (drums, percussion).
Recorded at Bearsville Studios, Bearsville, New York in 2003.
This is an Enhanced CD, which contains both regular audio tracks and multimedia computer files.
For the second Vines album, WINNING DAYS, the group's resident enfant terrible, Craig Nicholls, still comes off as an amalgam of Ryan Adams, Billy Corgan, and Kurt Cobain, and that's exactly what makes the record compelling from the start. Guitars blaze as Nicholls's unapologetic rock-star sneer carries the fierce opening track, "Ride." On "TV Pro," the band moves into slow, dreamy territory, but the chiming riffs are soon joined by jagged bursts of distortion, making for one of the Vines' most dynamic tunes.
On this confident set, the Australian rockers benefit from producer Rob Schnapf's return to the boards, crafting multi-faceted songs ranging from the pensive, acoustic "Autumn Shade II" and the Beach Boys-influenced title track to the metallic stomp of "Evil Town" and the spite-fueled closing number. Talented beyond their years, the lads of the Vines prove that the success of their debut was no fluke with WINNING DAYS.