Artist: The Vines
Example song: Ride
So I’ve come to a realisation in the last couple of days: It’s much easier to review a film than an album. Much easier. My thoughts on a film can be easily bashed out on a cheap plastic keyboard, but my reaction to music is much harder to pry out of my brain and into readable words. I can (and did) watch a film once, and then the next day recall from memory (supplemented by a note or two) exactly what happened in that film. Music? Not so simple. Perhaps it’s because when I’m watching a film I’m giving it my full attention, whereas I listened to the majority of this album on the bus. Maybe it’s because a film has a coherent plot to fix a memory on, but an album is far more abstract and intangible. This means that I’m clearly going to have to listen to an album more than once to review it, which seems to directly contradict my aim of experiencing as much as I can by listening to as much as I can. However, I’m coming to realise that if I want to “experience” a piece of music, one listen ain’t gonna cut it.
Whatever the problem, (18 hours) after my first listen to this album I could only remember one song. That is unsurprisingly Ride, the song in the video above, which I knew before listening to the album and is easily one of the Vines’ most popular tunes. It’s an excellent song at that, very energetic and catchy, and serves as a good opening track to invite further exploration of the album. I often worry about the decision to stick the hit song at the beginning of an album, but the band do a good job of living up to the high standard they’ve shown themselves to be able to hit.
So after another listen, I can give some more critical analysis (wow, I’ve got a high opinion of myself) on the rest of the songs, and the album as a whole. It’s lively and yet it feels a little depressing in a way that reminds me a lot of the Manic Street Preachers; TV Pro is a good example of this. The remainder of the album is upbeat yet peaceful before perking back up with Fuck the World to close. This is (perhaps unsurprisingly) more raucous, although it feels more ironic than seriously angry and finishes off the record on a pleasing note.
Overall, I thought that this was a very good album, and I feel inspired to investigate some more of the band’s work (one album prior, three since). I’m a sucker for a song I recognise from a movie, the TV or the radio, and I sense that I won’t come across too many of those. But I can certainly see the Vines becoming a solid addition to my library and, when I reach that stage somewhere on the other side of the horizon, my ultimate alternative/indie-rock playlist.
My rating: 7.5/10