Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Vaselines Put The X In Sex This September

Mark your calendars. The Vaselines are releasing their second album, Sex With An X, in September. You might say it has been a very, very long time coming for the Scottish duo. Their debut was two decades ago.

In anticipation of the new sound and to introduce themselves to new fans (and reacquaint them with existing fans), the band is giving listeners a chance to download their new single, I Hate the '80s, for free. But before you do, you might want to know a little more about their eclectic brilliance.

Who Are The Vaselines?

As the legend goes, couple Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee formed a quirky garage pop band, released a groundbreaking album and then split as a band just as quickly. Two years later, they split as a couple too. And that was that.

It might have been, but Kurt Cobain was a big fan of their work, so much so that he deemed them his favorite songwriters. And so Nirvana covered three of their songs (most notably Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam; Cobain-ized to Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For a Sunbeam), putting the band back on the radar and providing an interesting listen for the newly hooked.

Yes, I Said With An X.

In keeping true to their original form, Sex With An X was produced Jamie Watson (who also produced their first album) in just under two weeks with a host of musicians sitting in, including members of Belle & Sebastian. McKee and Kelly never considered themselves musicians, and still don't. They are, however, more than competent and smart enough to surround themselves with the right people.

In many ways it sounds like Sex With An X was recorded just a year or two after Dum Dum. The 20-year lapse in time hasn’t dulled the Vaselines in any way nor tarnished the lovable, strangely trippy sound that made them so unique in the ‘80s. There is a childlike quality to the lyrics, the vocals, and the wonderful simplicity of the songs themselves.

Enter The VaselinesLast year, perhaps in anticipation of Sex With an X, Sub Pop! released a deluxe edition of 1992’s The Way Of the Vaselines, called Enter The Vaselines. It’s basically their first release (Dum Dum), plus two EPs and a whole bunch of remastered versions of their better known songs, as well as live recordings of Rory Rides Me Raw (which is not about what you think it is….Rory is a bike), Son of a Gun, and Sex Sux.

This is worth checking out if you want to explore the band further. If you do, you’ll quickly discover why Cobain thought they were such a rare find: untarnished, a bit raw (like Rory), and completely unique. Unlike many bands, the Vaselines sound just as great live as they do on vinyl.

Sex With An X is a welcome return for the Vaselines. The band picks up right where they left off 20 years ago without missing a beat. I, for one, am quite glad they are back.

The Vaselines' Sex With An X Scores 7.7 on the Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

The Vaselines will be touring to support Sex With An X all fall, starting Sept. 15 in Edinburgh and winding through the United Kingdom and back to Glasgow on Sept. 24. On Oct. 2, they’ll embark on an ambitious tour of North America. You can purchase tickets for just about any show directly from the band’s Website.

If you want to check out the new tracks with free downloads, visit The Vaselines. If you want to become familiar with their unexpectedly influential history, start with Enter The Vaselines.
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