Highly Evolved (song)

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"Highly Evolved"
Single by The Vines
from the album Highly Evolved
Released 22 April 2002
Format Single
Recorded 2001
Genre Alternative rock, garage rock revival, post-grunge
Length 1 min 34 s
Label Capitol
Songwriter(s) Craig Nicholls
Producer(s) Rob Schnapf
The Vines singles chronology
"Highly Evolved"
"Get Free"
"Highly Evolved"
"Get Free"

"Highly Evolved" is the opening track and first Australian single from The Vines' debut album of the same name (see Highly Evolved). The song was written by the group's lead guitarist and vocalist, Craig Nicholls. It was issued as a single via Capitol Records, in April 2002, ahead of the album, which appeared in August.

Single track list[edit]

  1. "Highly Evolved" (01:35)
  2. "Sunchild (Zen Demo)" (04:08)

Music video[edit]

The video for "Highly Evolved" has been described as 'the ultimate low rent video'.[citation needed] The video opens with the message "A lot can happen in 90 seconds, use your imagination"[1] in white letters on a black screen. Then, a pressure gauge appears and a timer begins to count down from 90 seconds in the lower right hand corner. In the last 30 seconds, the gauge goes into the red as the timer begins to buzz around the screen before "The Vines / Highly Evolved" appears as a title before the video ends.

Critical reviews[edit]

"Highly Evolved" was single of the week in March 2002 in NME. In the magazine's review James Oldham states that it is "scorched, ragged and super heavy, "Highly Evolved" takes ‘Bleach’-era Nirvana as its starting point and then proceeds to compress the whole of Kurt Cobain’s career into a blistering minute and a half. It’s a totally brilliant record.[2]

Chris Dahlen of Pitchfork describes the song as being "fine grunge, switching from bare strumming to throbbing, jagged, yet infectious guitar lines."[3] Allmusic's Heather Phares states ""Highly Evolved"'s primal beat and chunky guitars are certainly post-grunge, but not in the boringly earnest, imitative way that bands such as Silverchair were—the song's sludgy sexiness and tight structure also recall the '60s garage punk that shaped bands like Nirvana and Mudhoney."[4]

Alex Petridis comments in The Guardian that the song is "compact and ferocious, powered along by Nicholls's purging scream."[5] Sputnik Music states that the song is a "great choice for an opening track. The guitar riff is very dirty but matches the songs style about being able to "buy love, from a pay phone". The song finishes with a neat mini guitar solo."[6]

PopMatters' Jon Garrett describes it as "a pleasant blast of Nevermind-era Nirvana", with "frontman Craig Nichols rumbling cadence often eerily mimics Cobain’s."[7]


  1. ^ "YouTube - The Vines - 'Highly Evolved'"
  2. ^ Oldham, James (12 September 2005). "Vines:Highly Evolved". NME. Retrieved 24 February 2016. 
  3. ^ Dahlen, Chris (29 July 2002). "The Vines : Highly Evolved". Pitchfork. Retrieved 24 February 2016. 
  4. ^ Phares, Heather. "Highly Evolved - The Vines". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 February 2016. 
  5. ^ Petridis, Alex (2 July 2002). "Believe the Hype". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2016. 
  6. ^ "The Vines - Highly Evolved". Sputnik Music. 23 October 2005. Retrieved 24 February 2016. 
  7. ^ Garrett, Jon (27 June 2002). "The Vines - Highly Evolved". PopMatters. Retrieved 24 February 2016.