...listening to the Vaselines brings back very personal memories of girl hang-ups, posing in what I thought were 60s threads and playing records in my bedroom.
The Vaselines – Enter the Vaselines (Deluxe Edition)
Remember the Vaselines? Well I do, and I remember really liking their LP back in the day (that’s 1988-9), as well as digging their (typically mid/late eighties) indie-pop take on things. They were very much a scenesters band, benefitting from the likes of Stephen Pastel’s and the Melody Maker’s approval. Still, this re-release still shows the music to be very much capable of standing on its own two feet.
The Vaselines traded on 60s pop and it might be fair to say that they couldn’t really have got by without the Velvets, the Count Five or Love, (despite the synths on, say, You Think You’ re a Man). Or Postcard for that matter... However they always had a way with a melody. And their simple, stripped back compositions were muscular enough to carry the fey optimistic side of the music with ease.
The two EPs are as charming as they were back in the day, (how disarmingly nice is the song Son of a Gun?), whilst the LP, Dum Dum is still very fresh-sounding, and, dare I say it, tons better than what’s about now, candy-pop wise. It’s actually still a remarkably forward-looking LP, despite the obvious period-isms. That’s possibly because Dum Dum is a glorious set of up-beat, throw-away pop tunes, and good pop never ages, regardless of (in this case) the deliberately grubby sonic C86-88 styling. I don’t really want to get too “professorial” on you because listening to the Vaselines brings back very personal memories of girl hang-ups, posing in what I thought were 60s threads and playing records in my bedroom. Let’s just say it sounds as good now as it did then and be done with it.
The re-release boasts the usual live gigs and demos. The gigs are a delight to listen to: especially the fantastically shambolic Bristol gig from 1986, which certainly brings back memories of that whole C86 thing. The second gig, recorded two years later in London is much more assertive, but the whole slightly twee charm is still intact amongst the feedback.
Well worth your time.