Monday, March 29, 2004

VINES FAR FROM FINE: Judging by the Chicago Tribune review, it looks like the Vines could be half-way to screwing up another crack at America:

Watching a band disintegrate is not a pretty sight. But self-destruct is exactly what The Vines did Friday at the sold-out Vic in front of a dissatisfied audience, many of whom booed and stormed the exits before the group's brief 45-minute set came to a merciful end.
The Australian quartet made headlines two years ago for its bratty behavior and post-grunge sound. But the band's meltdown, which came only three days after the release of its lackluster sophomore album, gives credence to the notion that The Vines were just lucky to be in the right place at the right time, having gotten caught in the 2002 garage-rock maelstrom triggered by The Hives and The Strokes.
From the moment he set foot onstage, vocalist Craig Nicholls sounded and acted out of sorts. Though later in the show, he played martyr by claiming he was sick and yet still chose to perform, his prima donna antics and cavalier attitude were more indicative of desperation and drunkenness.
Nicholls' voice was in tatters, and his sloppy guitar playing came off like an obnoxious prank. He slurred words, intentionally sang out of tune, bleated like a sheep, laughed at himself and made up nonsensical lines. During a few songs, he failed to sing any actual lyrics.
All the while, his bandmates looked on in disgust. Trying to stave off further embarrassment, the rhythm section tried to keep a steady beat and some sense of composure. But with Nicholls berating the fans (he called them "disgruntled cows" and "[expletive] morons"), stumbling around, indiscriminately sticking out his tongue and head-butting the microphone, The Vines should have just apologized and aborted.
After Nicholls disappeared for a while, the group managed to return for four semi-coherent songs. But the most memorable impression wasn't musical; it was the sight of what looked like the parent of a teen concertgoer flipping off The Vines from the front row of the balcony.

This doesn't look good - and, frankly, we wouldn't take this from Puddle of Mudd so it's not clear why The Vines should be able to get away with it. Unless they pull together pretty quick, they're going to end up going nowhere - it's unlikely they'd get offered a third chance to burn through record company money in the US, and we calculate they'll have already alienated 18 per cent of their potential market beyond recapture. The worst thing, of course, is all this makes joint co-headliners Jet seem professional, and that's got to be wrong.

[Big thanks to Matt M for the heads-up]

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