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Highly Evolved Image
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 49 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,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. Alternative Press
    80
    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]
  3. Q Magazine
    80
    The Australian quartet's debut album justifies the fuss that followed its title track's bubblegum approximation of Nirvana. [July 2002, p.121]
  4. Uncut
    70
    The Vines' place in the rock gene pool is shaped by elements of controlled guitar thrash, often complex harmony, bubblegum psychedelia and polished piano-driven ballads with an early Seventies whiff. [Aug 2002, p.116]
  5. OK, so it tails off towards the end, and there's something rather dishonest about a band so young releasing a track like '1969', but even then it's quite endearing to see them trying to build such an immediate mythology around themselves.
  6. The record's big-rock sound works against it, as does its back-and-forth swing from melodic Britpop to room-filling volume.
  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: 26 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
  1. Aug 28, 2014
    10
    One of my personal favourites, one of the few good albums of this century. Garage Rock needs to come back! Replace the **** we have now calledOne of my personal favourites, one of the few good albums of this century. Garage Rock needs to come back! Replace the **** we have now called "Indie Rock". Expand
  2. TimC
    Jun 22, 2003
    10
    Great for begining to end....
  3. BrianO.
    Aug 31, 2002
    10
    great album! they are one of my fav bands now.
  4. KateJ
    Sep 4, 2004
    10
    This is the best thing I've ever heard. I love vines. I love Craig Nicholls. They're Best
  5. CollinC
    Mar 18, 2005
    9
    Critics suffer from a case of over-analysis. They wanna be the first to make a comment that hasn't been made. This is a clean mix of Critics suffer from a case of over-analysis. They wanna be the first to make a comment that hasn't been made. This is a clean mix of dirty rock. As a musician myself, I realize the genious of writing. It's about writing something that is catchy. That's genious. The vines have a great skill in making music that grabs you and rocks you, whether you want it to happen or not. This album is a beautiful concoction of the obvious chord progression and simple arrangement with tasteful and impeccable musicianship. It's a pleasant paradox. Expand
  6. Jun 28, 2012
    9
    The Vines debut smoulders like hot rocks on asphalt and then suckerpunches you with absurdly gifted melodic harmonies. After being diagnosedThe 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
  7. DomS.
    Aug 10, 2003
    2
    Nicholls has taken one too many bong hits. His song-writing has the maturity and overall skill of a retarded three-year-old. Leaving the hype Nicholls has taken one too many bong hits. His song-writing has the maturity and overall skill of a retarded three-year-old. Leaving the hype aside, this band is about as important and consequential to rock as my home recording of my dog taking a crap, complete with all the obligatory grunting. Vivacity and languidness? If you want that, check out Bonnie "Prince" Billy or the Liars or Spoon or anything else besides these wretched wankers. Don't buy into it. Please don't. Spare the rest of us from any more. Expand

See all 30 User Reviews