The Vines

Winning Days

Winning Days, the Vines’ follow-up to their 2002 debut, Highly Evolved, is one of the best albums of the year—so far. No embarrassing filler, just rock. The opening track and single “Ride” is a wild screamfest with a Revolver-era beat. “Animal Machine” is an angry, dopey grunge rant that’ll make you want to break things. Then the album shifts gears into Beach Boy ballads like “Autumn Shade 2,” a Brian Wilson wet dream. One problem: The ballads all sound similar, but they’re all good. Singer Craig Nicholls goes all out, from a whisper to a scream. The Australian band wraps up the album with “Fuck the World,” a distorted punk-rock shout out. Wake up, America! We can learn from these Aussies and remember how to rock. And don’t forget to load that bong.