Picks and Pans Review: Winning Days

updated 03/29/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/29/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

The Vines

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Having blasted onto the garage-rock scene with 2002's raucous Highly Evolved, the Vines retreated to Woodstock, N.Y., to record this, their sophomore effort. The pastoral setting must have rubbed off on these Aussie mates, because they're now in a more mellow, melodic place, and the results are mostly Winning. Take the title track. It's a dreamy, folk-tinged ballad heavy on sunny '60s harmonies and low on bad-boy attitude. The Vines continue their more tuneful, toned-down tack on numbers like the sweetly melancholy "Rainfall" and the twangy "Sunchild." However, frontman Craig Nicholls and crew haven't forgotten how to rock out. They let it rip on the rowdy, guitar-loaded opener "Ride," while wrapping things up by extending their collective middle fingers on the punkish anthem "F—- the World." After all, you can take the boys out of the garage, but you can't take the garage out of the boys.

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