Release Date: Jul 12, 2008
Record label: Cooking Vinyl
Is it just me, or do the Vines seem to relish the title of Garage Rock Punching Bag that was thrust upon them after the release of their underwhelming sophomore record, 2004’s Winning Days, if not the moment the Hives blew them off the stage at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards? Acknowledging that status and doing something to fix it, however, are two different things, and it’s one that plagues Melodia, the band’s fourth album, and fourth identical-sounding-album-in-a-row, released late last year, but only seeing a stateside release now in Spring ‘09. As ever, both iterations of the band—fuzzed-out rockers and mid-tempo Beatles-apers—make up Melodia‘s 14 tracks and 30 minutes. So yes, if you’ve spent any time with the Vines’ three previous records you know what you’re getting yourself into: the quietLOUDquiet singles candidates: “Get Out”, “He’s a Rocker” (where frontman Craig Nicholls exalts/excoriates the titular dude by noting “he’s got nothin’ to say / All he’s ever playin’ is that rock ‘n’ roll music”); the quietLOUDquiet album filler (same as above, only less memorable/well defined): “Braindead”, “Merrygoround”, and “Hey” (with Nicholls’ telling assertion that “I had enough of my time / So I threw it away”); and the songs that start quiet… and stay that way.