Wicked Nature is the sixth album from Sydney’s angry teenage rock legends The Vines. This project is a two-part/22-track endeavor that incorporates new sounds and flavours with all the classic elements of The Vines from back in the day of Highly Evolved. But be warned listener, Wicked Nature is not an album that will conform to your usual expectations of music. This project is the product of jamming, brainstorming and genuine creativity. It has a melting pot of influences, with the emotion of Oasis, the heaviness of Metallica and the short punchy tracks of the Ramones. This album takes us back to the basics of rock ‘n’ roll and the end result is punchy and diverse.
There are two distinct sounds to be gleaned from this album; angry, fast paced, garage rock or pulled back, introspective anthems. The first part of Wicked Nature is my favourite, as it retains a neat balance of the two.
‘Metal Zone’ is the opening track and sets the pace with lazy guitar melodies that build up to some heavy rock. It is emotional, pulsating and raw. ‘Ladybug’ is smoother and takes it down a notch. The breakdown of the verse creates a stark contrast to the heaviness of the chorus. The lyrics are powerful; ‘stuck in a maze when you’re alone’ paints a vivid picture.
‘Green Utopia,’ ‘Anything You Say,’ ‘Out The Loop,’ ‘Rave It’ and the title track ‘Wicked Nature’ all sound a little bit the same, and don’t have anything much new to offer to the first half of the album. In such a long album of short songs, it feels as if some of these ideas could be incorporated together to create something shorter, neater and more succinct.
‘Killing The Planet’ is my favourite song on this album. It packs a punch both musically and artistically. The lyrics “ignorant bliss to the world we’re denying” / “people the curse ‘cos we keep multiplying” are ideologically powerful. This song demonstrates that The Vines are socially conscious artists with a powerful message and use their music to promote positive ideas. This is a great piece of work that brings meaning and depth to The Vines; an aspect of their musicality that ensures their longevity.
‘Venus Fly Trap,’ ‘Good Enough’ and ‘Into The Fire’ are soulful, and melancholy. They are starkly contrasting to the angrier songs of the album and use harmonies, echoing effects and orchestral instrumentals to build up to an emotive climax. These songs provide much needed breaks from an otherwise lengthy and intense collection.
After 10 strong tracks, part two feels as if it deliver a bit more of the same, with the exception of ‘Truth’ and ‘Slightly Alien’ that are more pulled back and languid, sounding different again to the usual formula of The Vines. ‘Funny Thing’ is a bit more of a feel good song that was good to end on, but would have been ten times better if it had been a bit longer.
Overall Wicked Nature is unique in its structure and composition. The Vines have delivered a variety of tunes that are emotional and insightful, simple rock in an otherwise overproduced, electronically dominated music industry. It is this raw quality that makes The Vines so prolific and unique.
Wicked Nature is available now from iTunes.