In the wake of Rolling Stone's dramatic cover story about a former Nirvana cover band, Kurt Cobain becomes a modern-day media footnote in the evolution of a batch of fab Australian rockers. Admittedly, the Vines have procured a branch on the one-hit-wonder family tree with "Get Free," but their elevation to revolutionary status is empty at best. Their debut CD, Highly Evolved, is not filled with as much creative homage as some would have us believe, but it is filled with thinly veiled imitation. To the band's credit, it doesn't deny its "obsession" with Nirvana singer Craig Nicholls' attempts to wail like Kurt Cobain are pretty embarrassing nor does it shy away from expressing its fondness for the Beatles. "Autumn Shade," after all, is a trite McCartney-style ballad.
Even more ever-present than the musical comparisons, however, are the photographs of a stoned-out Nicholls, who wants us to believe he's as "fucked up" as Cobain. Craig, if you smoke bong-load after bong-load every day, you become not only a cliché, but also a flake crippled by said spiritual confliction's close relationship to the munchies.