The Holy Grail of indie pop.
"Nirvana covered three of their songs, and as Kurt might tell you if he were alive today, from 1986 to 1989 the Vaselines were the best pop band around. Sub Pop was smart enough to cash in on the Nirvana connection, and in 1992 released the career retrospective The Way of the Vaselines: A Complete History. From the stomping, singalong opener "Son of a Gun" to the distorted and nasty "Let's Get Ugly". The Holy Grail of indie pop.
The Vaselines' music is unfailingly amateurish, almost completely silly, occasionally quite perverted, and always about sex. It has the simplicity and ear-grabbing melodies of the best bubblegum, the loud and semi-competent guitars of punk, and some of the attitude and lo-fi sound of their noise rock contemporaries like the Jesus and Mary Chain. They also had a charmingly unschooled vocal approach (Kelly sounding cool and tough, McKee sweet as pie) with a fleeting acquaintance to pitch but tons of humor, attitude, and style. Throw in a bunch of religion and add brilliantly simple choruses that will have you singing along the first time you hear the songs (as well as the thousandth), and you've got genius. This brilliance shines brightest on the band's first two EPs, which were recorded by Stephen Pastel and contain the songs the group was best known for, like "Molly's Lips," "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam," and "Son of a Gun." The full-length album Dum-Dum, recorded without Pastel's guidance and with a bulked-up, rockier sound, is amazing and features some timelessly cool songs like "Sex Sux (Amen)," which includes the immortal line "Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost/I'm the Sacred Host with the most," the rip-roaring "Monsterpussy," and the hilarious "The Day I Was a Horse." Taken together, the band's official output is brainy, funny, sexy, catchy pop music at its best".