The Vaselines - Sex With An X (Sub Pop)
Natalie Salvo | Saturday, 20 November 2010
Kurt Cobain certainly extended the shelf life of The Vaselines when he covered three of the band's songs with Nirvana. Although the group would disband shortly before the release of their debut album, 2008 would see founding members Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee reunited by their label for a party. One thing led to another and now there's Sex With An X.
More than twenty years after their debut, their second record sees the noise-pop pair joined by Belle and Sebastian's Bobby Kildea and Stevie Jackson (who some would argue are kindred spirits in the twee pop world) and Michael McGaughrin of The 1990s. The Vaselines 2010 produce many of the hooky choruses and simple pop ditties of before, albeit with some of the rough edges smoothed out musically. The words are a different story though, boasting plenty of innuendo, irreverent wit and smirks that listeners have come to associate with the artists.
The title track is a hedonistic anthem you can imagine the Shout Out Loud's performing. 'Ruined' meanwhile, sees a child's free time cut short for a serving of Queens of the Stone Age rock crossed with Sonic Youth's grungy antics.
A song close to the group's heart is 'I Hate The 80s', a dig at the decade they may have performed in, but had very little common with (think of the dominance of Culture Club and Duran Duran, among others). As they so eloquently note: "You want the truth/well this is it/I hate the 80s/Cause the 80s were s**t."
The Vaselines have not become middle-aged rock stars trading on past glories nor do they rely on the youth card to pull them through like before. Instead they've reached a happy place where they subsist on a diet of trippy haze, twangy guitars, reckless fun and grit. So while the 80s may have been bad, things have definitely picked up for this power pop pair.