The Vines
The Vines
The Vines – Metal Zone (out now)
It’s an homage to the bands favorite distortion pedal plus a twisted, dark, raunchy, punk rock song about relationships. It arrives as the first single from the forthcoming album “Wicked Nature”. Like the guitar pedal namesake, there is a lot of psychotically soft-loud-soft dynamics happening in this new tune. ‘Metal Zone’ is a straight up nightmare of freewheeling solos and screams from frontman Craig Nicholls, who jumps out of the song right before there is any time to get too familiar. Nicholls has numerous musical gifts. One is to make deceptively simple sounding rock and roll full of melodic hooks and brutal, energetic noise. On ‘Metal Zone’ it sounds like Nicholls has lost none of that verve whilst the world was off at a rave party.  With ‘Metal Zone’ they add to a growing choir of bands amped up, lyrics ready, and stage worthy.  ‘Metal Zone’ is released July 14th worldwide. ‘Wicked Nature’ out Sept 2nd. Pre-order now via Pledge Music.

Believe in rock & roll. Believe it can save you. Believe what’s true and fuck what anyone else thinks.
This is The Vines and this is WICKED NATURE.
The Vines’ sixth studio album, WICKED NATURE is a two-part, 22-song manifesto from the trenches (from a “Green Utopia” in Sydney suburbia). It’s cathartic and defiant, a portal to truth in a world turned upside down and inside out. No special effects. No trickery or inhibitions or slight of hand. It doesn’t get more real than this.
“I’m pretty much against everything,” explains Craig Nicholls - The Vines frontman, guitarist and songwriter - citing the source (and the anti-source) of his inspiration. “No computers, no mobile phones, no cars, no women. No nothing. I just want to evaporate. Which puts me very much in the minority. It's okay - I can't really change it. It’s just very weird.”
Which explains why, on one level, WICKED NATURE is rock & roll, pure and simple - a guitar, bass, drums and voice in a room together, recording straight to tape. There’s plenty of adrenalin and angst - several songs barely break the 90-second barrier-while others sound like spiritual symphonies. The overall effect is magical and astral.
WICKED NATURE formally unveils The Vines new line-up. Craig Nicholls is out front, as always, and he’s now backed by the talents of Tim John on bass and Lachy West on drums. Meaning The Vines is a trio again, just like it was in the first place.
“They’re really good players and it just seems to come off,” Craig says of his new-look The Vines. “In the studio, we were really lucky to have this chemistry and that’s why they’re in the band. They really seem to complement the songs and pick things up very quickly.”
So here is the debut recording from the new The Vines. A double-album spilling over with melodies and ideas and attitude, WICKED NATURE is very much a work in two parts.
WICKED NATURE Pt 1 was recorded with ARIA-award-winning producer Paul McKercher [You Am I, Augie March] in Sydney’s Rancom Studios. It was while the band was mixing Pt 1 that they jammed up the songs for Pt 2. The trio then headed across town to the cosier confines of Jungle Studios with in-house engineer Lachlan Mitchell where they recorded and mixed Pt 2 in five days - that’s two songs a day.
Yet, ironically, it’s WICKED NATURE Pt 1 that is the more rock of the two records. After a deceptive choral overture, it bursts into the manic and hypnotic first single, “Metal Zone” [“Stone in my metal zone, I take rock & roll to get radical”], and the record doesn’t take a breath until about halfway through when the mood loosens up - only slightly - with a string of open-hearted/open-chorded epic rock pop songs: “Anything You Say”, “Venus Fly Trap” and the instant timeless classic, “Good Enough”. Just before the end, we get “Wicked Nature”, the song that started it all, and it’s such a big song that it manifests its own time warp. Only then do we quietly fall “Into The Fire”, WICKED NATURE Pt 1 at its most contemplative.
It’s that mood which pervades WICKED NATURE Pt 2. It feels dreamier, less aggro, perhaps a little lighter, although it opens with a ’60s-flavoured bopper with the heaviest of titles in “Reincarnation”. It still totally rocks out in places (“Everything Else”), but at the heart of Pt 2 is a set of immaculate, magical mid-paced musings (“Truth”, “Slightly Alien”, “Fly Away” and “Clueless”), before we are finally farewelled with “Funny Thing”, which lays out the final word on the whole matter of this Wicked Nature (“I know what it takes but I threw is out to be worlds away on a wicked sound”).
Forget what you think you know about rock & roll. Forget what you think you know about The Vines. It starts again right here with this major musical statement: This is The Vines and this is WICKED NATURE.