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The Vaselines
Sex with an X - Sub Pop
FILTER Grade: 74%

By Lauren Barbato on September 3, 2010


The Vaselines

With so much of today’s music echoing the past, it’s difficult to tell if The Vaselines are timeless or just outdated. Listening to Sex with an X is like entering a Technicolor time warp, and the Scottish pop outfit’s sophomore LP—20 years after the release of Dum-Dum—reminds us just how vintage the ’80s really are. Variety is not so much a priority for the band as is foot-tapping appeal: the hooks are catchy and the lines are even catchier, like the title track’s singable mantra, “It feels so good/It must be bad for me.” Yet as delectable as the melodies are, Sex with an X seems like it’s all been done before—and in fact, we know that it has. “I Hate the ’80s” lifts the album from its sugary-hook monotony, but ends it on a bittersweet thought: “You want the truth; this is it/I hate the ’80s ’cause the ’80s were shit.” The Vaselines might hate the ’80s, but that’s where they belong.

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