Is it possible to review The Vaselines without mentioning Kurt Cobain? No? Oh well, whatever. Never mind. Formed in the mid ’80s, it maybe hard to believe that Sex with an X is only The Vaselines second studio album. After all isn’t this the Glaswegian duo that influenced a flux of Scottish indie outfits? While it’s true Cobain’s admiration / adoration brought the duo more exposure, and covering songs like ‘Molly’s Lips’ boosted their dedicated (albeit patient) fan base significantly, there is more to The Vaselines than their famous fans. Their charming hooks, ability to create insanely catchy refrains and solid pop songs, makes The Vaselines the seminal group they are. However, State is just not sure the hype for Sex with an X is justified.
It starts off strong and lyrically contains a few gems like “You Look So Right, You Must Be Wrong For Me” and the precocious pop song ‘I Hate The 80s, ‘Cause The 80s Were Shit’ but the initial excitement gradually fades by the end of the album. Of course, Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee work well together, their vocals dangerously dancing, at times competing and complementing each other. The line up is re-enforced nicely by Belle and Sebastian’s Stevie Jackson and Bobby Kildea, and Michael McGaughrin on drums. Just like sex with an ‘ex’ , this album is comfortable, enjoyable and you know exactly what to expect. And although it’s a nice, likeable little record, there’s nothing new here. It’s just a little stale and underwhelming.