Remember The Vines? They released a radio smash of a song in the form of "Get Free" in 2002 that landed them on the cover of Rolling Stone AND a "battle of the bands-style" performance slot at the VMAs alongside The Hives. The only problem was that onstage, frontman Craig Nicholls was more likely to throw a fit and toss his guitar into the drum kit than actually play it while singing a song. The first couple of times it was ok. I got it. He wanted to be bad ass and crazy. Understood, but when I went to see the band for the third time and they got through about two songs before falling to pieces, I wondered weather or not he could even play the damn thing.
By the time their 2004 follow up, Winning Days, was released, Nicholls couldn't hold it together and freaked out on stage (again) in Sydney, resulting in the departure of bassist Patrick Matthews.
Well it turned out that Nicholls actually had Asperger's Syndrome, "a neurobiological disorder and form of autism." People with the disease are usually considered exceptionally intelligent and many times are obsessed with art and music. However, they have trouble in social situations and coping with change. If the future of the band looked to be in jeopardy before the diagnosis (which it did), then afterwards it was all but certain that they'd throw in the towel.
Well in what seems to be something of a rock & roll miracle, The Vines are back with a brand new album. Called Vision Valley, the band's third album was produced by Wayne Connolly (You Am I) and will be released on April 4 via Capitol. Unlike their previous releases, the album finds Nicholls and company churning out raw, unpolished, overdub free garage rock, punk and neo-psychedelia. Nicholls is unable to do much touring or promotion (which might be a good thing), so the album will have to stand on its own. I've yet to hear it, but I'll be sure to get a review posted ASAP. Until then, here's the track listing.
02. "Nothins Comin"
03. "Dandy Daze"
04. "Vision Valley"
05. "Don’t Listen To The Radio"
06. "Gross Out"
07. "Take Me Back"
08. "Going Gone"
09. "Fuk Yeh"
11. "Dope Train"