Review: The Vines - Gimme Love

The VinesGimme Love Independent

The Vines have had quite a rocky road to success.

The Sydney band took to the airwaves in 2001 with their debut album 'Highly Evolved'.

The local release of the band's first single, Factory, failed to impress in Australia. After little interest from homegrown record labels, the band pinned their hopes on interest in the UK.

After British music magazine, NME, wrote about the band's old school rock sound, The Vines eventually signed to UK label, Heavenly Records giving the band distribution in Australia through EMI.

A year later in 2002 The Vines arrived on the international stage. Highly Evolved debuted at number three on the UK album chart, number 11 on the American Billboard chart and number five on the Australian chart.

In the same year the album sold 1.5 million copies worldwide and by the end of 2003 was certified double platinum in Australia.

The band followed up their debut album with 'Winning Days' in 2004. The album took the band to a new level, creating a new level of intensity. In late 2004 recording and touring pressure finally took its toll with band singer Craig Nicholls abusing the crowd at a Sydney gig before assaulting a photographer. In the aftermath of the gig, The Vines bass player, Patrick Matthews, quit the band and the band's record label cancelled all further tours.

In 2006, The Vines released their third album, Vision Valley, to lukewarm acclaim and led to the band being dropped by their labels Capitol Records and EMI.

By 2008 the band were back recording new material for their fourth album, Melodia. The band's album again failed to impression on a commercial front. In November of the same year, The Vines were forced to cancel their performance at the 2008 Hombake, the 2008/09 Pyramid Rock festival and 2009 Big Day Out festival due to illness.

Last year The Vines returned to the Annandale Hotel to perform under the name, 'The Crimes' as a support act for You Am I.

The gig was a way for the band to fly under the media radar and road test material off their scheduled fifth album.

In July 2010, The Vines returned to the live music scene officially, playing Splendour In The Grass before supporting Powderfinger on the first of their four shows of their farewell tour. At the shows, The Vines performed a number of new singles.

All looked like it was getting back on track for the band, however, without the backing from record labels, the band has been forced to self-fund their fifth album.

Gimme Love is the first single off the new album, Future Primitive. The single has been 12 months in the making, with the band completing its recording last year, however a shortage of funds delayed its release.

Gimme Love opens in true Vines fashion - a wild Nicholls scream.

Heavy rock drums echo around Nicholls' repetitive vocals. The Vines have perfected the art of powerful yet simple rock. The beauty of The Vines' sound is they aren't trying to be clever. They are a rock band pure and simple. They aren't hiding, they pump out their tunes loud and proud.

Though let's get one thing straight, Gimme Love isn't going to break records. It doesn't have the same raw energy of 'Get Free', or the passion of 'Highly Evolved' or the quiet brilliance of 'Winning Days'.

It does however champion a return to basis for the band. There is no doubt The Vines have come full circle with their sound. They are a band in rebuild mode, and have been for some time. Yet unlike the band's out there today, The Vines have a staying power and battling spirit that keeps people's attention. Bring on album number five.