THE VINES Winning Days (Capitol) Ratings: N
Greasy-haired Aussie weeds the Vines have never been much more than a Nirvana tribute act, and their sophomore release doesn't rise far above that. Winning Days is a boring mess of whiny vocals, squalls of grungy guitar and flat bass lines that, like the posthumously released Nirvana track, just make you miss Nevermind. The disc opens with a couple of vicious tunes that make a nominal effort to bolster singer Craig Nicholls's bratty Kurt-imposter vocals but - lacking even the killer Grohl-Novoselic rhythm section that transformed Cobain's haunted angst into aggression - dissolves into toothless poppy balladry.
The Vines play the Kool Haus with fellow Aussie wannabes Jet Tuesday (March 23).