The Vaselines Sex With An X

The Vaselines Sex With An X
If it weren't for Nirvana, the Vaselines would have remained one of those Scottish bands, like the Pastels, with a small, but impeccable, back catalogue and a smaller, but devoted, following. But Kurt liked them a lot, and that stamp of approval ensured legendary status, which has kept the interest level in them high. So high, in fact, that they've reformed periodically for live shows, which has in turn led to album number two ― 20 years after their debut. Sex With An X is exactly the album that the Vaselines should have made; they didn't simply try to pick up where they left off, but there is still enough of their original spirit to make it feel like a natural progression; it is almost the perfect comeback record. The band's two original members (Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee) are joined by members of Belle & Sebastian and the 1990s, but this is still very much their show. The songs might sound cleaner now (although the lyrics aren't), but they still have the ramshackle charm that made them so appealing the first time around, in part because of the vocal interplay between Kelly and McKee. And then, all too soon, it comes to an end, with final track "Exit The Vaselines" implying that this could be it. If that's the case, the Vaselines can ride off into the sunset with their reputation intact. (Sub Pop)