Highly Evolved - The Vines
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 52 Ratings

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  • Summary: 2001 gave us The White Stripes and The Strokes; 2002 gives us The Hives and The Vines. This Australian four-piece outfit is the latest rock band to be hyped to stratospheric proportions (and an instant major-label contract) by the UK rock press, who compared the Vines to Nirvana (the band, not the concept). But although the Aussies did indeed get their start as a Nirvana cover band, there is a bit more to their debut album 'Highly Evolved' than Grunge, Part 2. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. They’re a shaggy-haired, surf’s up pop band and painfully vulnerable all at the same time.
  2. Unlike many other pop postmodernists, the Vines never sound weighed down by all the influences they include in their music -- it's as if they're so excited by everything they hear, they can't help but recombine it in unique ways.
  3. It's rare for a band to channel the Velvet Underground, Nirvana, Dandy Warhols and the Beatles within the span of 45 minutes and sound unique, but the Vines have crept into that select category with Highly Evolved. [Aug 2002, p.86]
  4. For as good as the majority of the tunes here are, the grandiose scope of Highly Evolved turns out to be a bit more than the young quartet could chew.
  5. A promising first effort that suffers from retro fever.
  6. It's hard to figure out exactly why everybody is so excited about this record.... There is something there to like -- plenty, in fact. But it is also disjointed and sometimes maddening.
  7. The Vines have trouble faking both the depth of feeling and the noisome mischief that good garage-punk requires, and the two rote Britpop numbers they tack on don't help.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 41
  2. Negative: 3 out of 41
  1. Feb 5, 2013
    This album is one of the best punk rock/ garage rock albums that I have ever heard from this generation. Absolutely beautiful and underrated. I highly recommend this album to anyone who enjoys punk rock, garage rock. Absolutely amazing. Expand
  2. Jun 28, 2012
    The Vines debut smoulders like hot rocks on asphalt and then suckerpunches you with absurdly gifted melodic harmonies. After being diagnosed with Asperger's and generally becoming an unfortunate caricature of himself, the mercurial Craig Nicholls doesn't seem like he was ever much of a rock star. But let me tell you he definitely was and probably still is. I saw the Vines play material from their debut album on the Radio 1 Stage of the Reading Festival, which incidentally was being recorded. This was a Nicholls who emerged in puffs of smoke and lights to an uproarious reception. Touting a huge spliff for the entire gig may not be pc, but it enabled Nicholls to reign in his madness and just generate pure rock and roll, screeching into the mic like a baby pteradactyl. 'Highly Evolved' is the perfect single, just 1 min 20 secs of pop punk noise. 'Autumn Shade', 'Homesick', 'Country Yard' and 'Mary Jane' are all sonic gems, rippling with waves of beautiful harmonies. 'Outtathaway' is raw and ridiculous as is the pounding 'Get Free'. Relish this album, there is something special about this band that reveals itself on repeat listens. Expand

See all 41 User Reviews