The Vaselines

V for Vaselines

Rosary Music

Sep 26, 2014 Issue #51 - September/October 2014 - alt-J Bookmark and Share


We can be honest here. Unless you're somewhat unbelievably hip, we can agree the main reason we know about The Vaselines is Kurt Cobain. Nirvana covered three songs by the Scottish group in their time and Vaselines member Eugene Kelly even admits he owes a mortgage to royalties from the Seattle superband's covers of his songs. But even a quick once-over of their new record, V for Vaselines, or any of their original work from the late '80s, reveals them to be about as different from Nirvana as Enya is from Bruce Springsteen.

This is a band who already exist on their own plane, doing their own thing, despite the fact plenty of people probably think someone else wrote some of their songs. Considering the fact the band was on hiatus from 1990 to 2006, it's nothing short of magical to hear Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee's songwriting partnership still yielding twee-rock rewards now. It's good they named this record V for Vaselines because it's definitive. They've never sounded more confident and constructed in their songwriting.

Even the most aggressive moments on this record ("Crazy Lady," "One Lost Year") are more in step with Tigermilk than In Utero. If you've always wondered what Belle and Sebastian would sound like if they put a little more "oomph!" in their sound, look no further. V for Vaselines may not make many year-end best-of lists but it's the final word that these people can rock on their own. (www.thevaselines.co.uk)

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