Heavenly - 2002 - 43 minutes
Hyped as the "next big thing" in rock 'n' roll, Aussie band the Vines follow hot on the heels of fellow pretenders the Hives, Strokes and White Stripes, taking a similarly retro route to the charts.
Debut album 'Highly Evolved' is a clutch of fast rockers and smooth ballads, which dive from high-octane roaring on 'Outtathaway' to the dreamily melodic 'Mary Jane'. Fitting twelve songs into just 43 minutes, the Vines kick ass and move on fast. Just as well, before they can be accused of being too reverential towards their influences which evidently include Blue Oyster Cult's '(Don't Fear) The Reaper' (on 'In The Jungle'), epic ballad 'November Rain' from Guns n' Roses ('Homesick') and the oeuvres of Britpop purveyors (Supergrass) and progenitors (The Kinks).
With a bitter twist to his pretty mouth, frontman Craig Nicholls tackles angst in the city, the mind-numbing hell of monotonous factory work, and the dilemma of buying love "from a payphone", but he also has his lighter moments. 'Autumn Shade' captures the dreamy lethargy of an Indian summer and 'Sunshinin' is a convertible ride along Bondi Beach.
Fast, fun and far from original - but the Vines may yet have the stamina to transcend their influences.
Tracklisting: Highly Evolved - Autumn Shade - Outtathaway - Sunshinin' - Homesick - Get Free - Country Yard - Factory - In The Jungle - Mary Jane - Ain't No Room - 1969