The hype that accompanied The Vines’ debut, Highly Evolved, placed a weight upon the band’s shoulders that they could not ‘Get Free’ of. The band were supposed to be the saviours of rock (how many of them have we had recently though?) and while the album was good, it was far from being the utter genius we had been promised. Wisely then, Winning Days arrives with far less of a media storm. It just kind of appeared in record stores the other day.
But is it really any good? Have The Vines finally delivered us the album of sheer brilliance that we should have got 2 years ago? Well no, not really. The album is not bad as such, it just isn’t that good and is just too similar to Highly Evolved to say that the band have evolved (excuse the pun) much over the last couple of years.
The album opens with the absolutely stomping Nirvana-esque, pop grunge of ‘Ride’; jangly indie guitars make way for an absolutely massive chorus exploding out of nowhere and smashing you in the face. The track, however, is as good as it gets sadly. There are only a few moments that are significantly different from ‘Highly Evolved.’ The incredibly odd ‘TV Pro’, a kind of psychedelic punk track, and ‘She’s Got Something to Say To Me’, a Beatlesy track, are two which caught my interest. However, it all just seems to fade out until the album closer, ‘Fuck The World’ rouses you with its bouncy bass line, fuzzy guitars and incendiary chorus.
Like I said, the album is not terrible, just a little derivative. It is an enjoyable enough grunge-pop album with the odd psychedelic moment. If you enjoyed ‘Highly Evolved’ then you will probably find enough here to keep you interested.