It is almost impossible to write about The Vaselines without mentioning Nirvana. Kurt Cobain called the Scottish group his ?most favourite song writers in the whole world.? He loved them so much that he took ?em on tour, covered their songs (?Molly?s Lips?, ?Son of a Gun? and ?Jesus Don't Want Me For a Sunbeam?) and named his daughter after Frances McKee.
And still now, they're relatively unknown in many circles and still need mention of a person more famous to attract people?s attention.
The sad thing is, that in a perfect world, The Vaselines would be as famous as can be. Lesser bands have gone on to fill huge stadiums with dreary, piddling landfill rock ?n? bore while The Vaselines cut some achingly lovely jangly heartache and fuzzed-up indie skuzz. And here they are, with a new LP called ?Sex With An X? which combines brutal noise and harmonies soaked in sun.
And if they needed to remind you what they were all about, album opener ?Ruined? combines everything these bedsit romantics are all about. Wonky music-box folk lulls your ear into the speaker with a false sense of security before nailing your ears to your head with white hot fuzzrock. It's perfectly formed and enough to make you sprout more hair, just so it can stand on end. Alas, it doesn't give you much change from two-minutes, so don't hang about.
For fans of a certain brand of late ?80s/early ?90s indie, this LP is going to bowl you over with a dewy nostalgia that has been purloined by (ace) bands like I Was A King, Nice Nice and Mazes who are all melding shoegaze with the tunery of Teenage Fanclub (granted, The Fannies were once that very thing before they let Gene Clark completely absorb them). While the tiring ?80s revival continues apace, the ?90s is creeping up on the blindside right on queue.
Not without a withering aside from this fine group. In ?I Hate the ?80s?, they croon: ?didn't notice we got screwed… what do you know? You weren't there. It wasn?t all Duran Duran… the ?80s was shit?.
While many bands from twenty-or-so years ago haul their arses out of retirement to relive canonised albums, The Vaselines clearly want to remind the upstarts that there's life in some of these older bands yet… and like all nostalgia trips, ?it feels so good… but you must be bad for me.? And it is that certain filthiness about this band that, even in their sweetest moment s (?Such a Fool?, ?Overweight But Over You?), that they still leave you with grazed elbows knees and dirty nails.
And what's more remarkable about this outrageously fun long-player is that it was recorded in just 13 days. It's a proper, complete album that is pop shot through GaragePunk-O-Vision.
Basically, this means that ?Sex With An X? is catchier than mumps with that greatest of pop-traits ? the clever/dumb axis is plotted perfectly, leaving anyone with even the most rudimentary listening hole in their head want to hit play again once the gorgeous ?Exit The Vaselines? closes proceedings. Everything from punk to rockabilly, from jingle jangle moments to wired road-movie country… this is one of the best releases of the year. Don't let it go unloved and unnoticed.
The Vaselines? ?Sex With An X? is released on Sub Pop on September 14th and you'd better buy it.