Competent but not genius is the answer, which is why -- British press reports to the contrary -- the Vines are more the second coming of Stone Temple Pilots than Nirvana, whose Bleach-era scrawl they lace with Beatlesque psychedelics. Highly Evolved is Gen-X sonics served up for all the Gen-Yers getting their first taste of RAWK on the heels of the Strokes/Stripes/Hives "revolution." When all's said and done, it's not half bad, and live the Vines blow out their amps and smash their gear with admirable conviction. Bush in the White House, Iraq on the brain, Cobain the rock deity du jour: You're gonna party like it's 1991.
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