Vision Valley


Asperger's Syndrome. It's a brain disorder that is essentially a form of autism. Not exactly an affliction that one equates with rock stars. But in the case of Vines frontman Craig Nicholls, it brings a number of things into sharper focus. Considering sufferers of Asperger's usually have difficulty in social situations, tend to be unable to deal with change, and desire sameness in clothing, food, etc., Nicholls' many run-ins with industry folk, professed love for McDonald's and frequent on-stage meltdowns now are evidence of a young man fighting a disease, not a rock-star asshole behaving like a rock-star asshole. Now that he has been diagnosed, how does that affect his band? It looks like touring is now out of the question, but what about the band's sound on their third album, Vision Valley? Fear not, Vines fans, this record still sounds like The Vines. In fact, it's a return to form that is similar in scope and scale to the band's excellent debut, Highly Evolved, blending garage-punk anthems with Beatlesy sing alongs. The former are in full effect on "F*k Yeh", "Dope Train", and "Gross Out", while the latter are represented in the album's title track and "Candy Daze". Thirteen tracks deep, Vision Valley will delight past fans and hopefully bring new ones alike, based on the strength of the first radio single, the amusingly-monikered "Don't Listen On The Radio". It's just too bad that Nicholls' behavior drove away long-time bassist and collaborator, Patrick Matthews. Perhaps with the medical condition coming to light, the band can kiss and make up. That sort of happy ending to this story seems good for everyone involved.

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Vision Valley