The Vaselines: Sex with an X (SubPop)

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The Vaselines: The Devil's Inside Me
The Vaselines: Sex with an X (SubPop)

The little-known Vaselines out of Scotland got their sudden time in the spotlight when Nirvana covered a couple of their songs, notably Jesus Doesn't Want Me For a Sunbeam on their MTV Unplugged session.

By that time ('93) the Vaselines - formed around Eugene Kelly and  Frances McKee -- had already broken up but they'd reformed to open for Nirvana in 1990.

So that connection gets big play in their story, and latterly they have reformed off and on, SubPop released a catch-all collection Enter the Vaselines a couple of years ago, and now they have recorded this -- only their second full album in 25 years.

Their charm is perhaps in their simplicity: they sound like the Monkees of grunge/punk in places and aren't averse to real Fifties-style pop simplicity. Although those who know their Flying Nun history may hear more than a little of that sound, notably bands like Look Blue Go Purple.

And in that regard the Vaselines here deliver nothing on a musical level that you haven't heard many times previously. Many times.

But they are amusing: Turning It On you is like Nancy'n'Lee with a little more stridency, you have to like titles such as Overweight But Over You and I Hate the 80s, things like My God's Bigger Than Your God is pointed . . .

They are more beefed up than in their previous incarnation but over the long haul this is pop with irony and a lot of lyrical repetition in songs like the title track ("feels so good it must be bad for me" hardly warrants that much repetition, repetition, repetition - although they do sound like an upbeat Archies).

They're back from them what wants them. 

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The Riverboat Captain - Nov 16, 2010

Great album. Pick up another couple of tracks (legally) here: http://www.riverboatcaptain.com/love-comes-in-spurts-the-vaselines/

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