Last we’d heard from Vines’ frontman Craig Nicholls, it was 2012 and he’d been arrested for punching his mother. The band’s saga has been a strange one since 2002, when the grunge-indebted Aussie rockers broke onto the scene with “Get Free,” lauded alongside the Strokes, the White Stripes, and the Hives as harbnigers of the “new rock” movement. The Vines were even SPIN cover stars in 2004.
But the years since have been up and down, to say the least, as Nicholls has battled self-destructive tendencies due to neurological disorder Asperger Syndrome while alienating fans, the media, and his band members. But as long as the Vines keep coming back, we’ll keep welcoming them. Today the band released a new video for the single “Metal Zone” from a forthcoming double-disc album, Wicked Nature, out September 2.
The song is just the sort of heavy, hook-rich, weirdly melodic garage-rock we’ve come to expect from the Vines. The video, likewise, is a straight-ahead performance twisted with psychedelic distortion as Nicholls’ consciousness gets strange. As for the album, it’s being financed and released by the band, with fundraising now underway via PledgeMusic. According to a note on the crowdsourcing site, the money will go to recording and marketing.
For the first time, Nicholls is producing the album himself with, on the first disc, help from Paul Mckercher.
The Vines’ manager writes, “Touring going forward will be minimal, Craig still loves to perform and so the occasional show will still happen. Interviews will be rare, but Craig and the team around the band will speak as much as possible through both old and new social media. The band’s focus will be on writing and recording and we will endeavour to release new music to you guys as fast as we can from here on.”
Fans who pre-order will get an immediate three-track sampler of new material, and later on will receive CD, vinyl, T-shirts, lyric sheets, or whatever else they’ve ordered. So far, the band is nearly 25 percent of the way to their goal with 54 days left.