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Vue | Find Your Home (Sub Pop)
By some quirk of fate, on the day that I write this, The White Stripes have filled about 2/3 of the NME issued today, and also gained 1/3 page in The Daily Mirror and a full page in The Sun, for fuck's sake. All three proclaimed the band as the greatest thing since bread came sliced (even writing it makes me cringe â?? sorry, Michael). That, they are not - very exciting - but certainly not the best thing since Hendrix or the Pistols, as was claimed today by people who should know better. Let's not get carried away, eh? But this almost impossible rise to prominence is great news if you like your rock with vintage flavouring. The Detroit siblings have captured it to a tee, really, and it's hard not to love them for it, particularly because hard working, otherwise-doomed-to-obscurity bands of a similar bent will be snapped up worldwide for our consumption as a result of their massive exposure. These bands will proudly display a deep love of the true rock greats, and some, like Jack and Meg, may also embrace blues and country, but hopefully not happy hardcore. But their hearts will bear safety pins, for sure. As far as I see it, this is great news. A few of these bands have already winged into my view â?? nothing outstanding yet â?? and the latest of these is Vue. After a previous album and equally ignored EP, this San Francisco 5-piece may well now get their fifteen minutes in this revival of the hi-octane and the classic. In a nutshell, this is filthy, fucked up, speedball trash-rock, played with extreme enthusiasm. New York Dolls, MC 5, The Stairs, the Stones, everything on the 'Nuggets' boxed sets, live La's freak-outs â?? it's all here, as you'd expect from within 20 seconds of opener Hitchhiking. Feedback and blues harp give way to fast acoustic strum, bass and drums and...Mick Jagger! You can't help but smile at the way shouter Rex Shelverton snarls and spits, because it's nostalgic. Mick hands the mic to Iggy Johansen on the screaming Pictures of Me, and it warms the cockles. This is good rock, attitude aplenty. There are two other preening botty-booters in the hook-blessed People on the Stairs and the careering assault of Child for You, the obligatory bruised blues workout of Falling Through a Window, plus heaps more chaotic and committed thrashings, and a mercifully brief blast of lunatics let loose with primitive sound-shagging toys. I'd say this runs at about 50-50 brilliant to bollocks, but at it's best it's life-affirming stuff that makes me feel, ooh, 38 again. Right, must dash â?? the nephew wants me to take him to the shops to get 'Raw Power' and 'Led Zep II.' Bless.
CWAS #9 - Winter 2002