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The Vaselines 

Sex with an X (Sub Pop)

Glasgow’s The Vaselines might have been forgotten had Kurt Cobain not been their biggest fan. Nirvana covered three of their songs: “Jesus Don’t Want Me for a Sunbeam,” “Son of a Gun” and “Molly’s Lips.” Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee have reunited for an album for the first time in 20 years. A listen makes it clear this is no nostalgia act. Musically, they keep it simple with a punk rock basis, endlessly hummable melodies and audible lyrics. That’s good because impulse control (“The Devil’s Inside Me”) and old flames (“Sex with an X”) are richly depicted. Evidently, demons can rekindle romance. Tougher than Belle and Sebastian, less frantic than The White Stripes, The Vaselines manage to create a lot of space. Good songwriting makes its own boundaries.
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Vol 25, No 47
April 19, 2018

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