on 17 August 2011
There are many reasons why one might be unimpressed by this over hyped album. Some of the lyrics are puerile rubbish (Wetsuit is a stunning example of how not to imitate Leonard Cohen.) The music is unoriginal and sounds like a mix of twenty long forgotten brain dead bands. Two of the tracks are ridiculously short (Wrecking Bar ra ra ra is only 1:22). The final track, Family Friend, is rather pointlessly chopped in half with a silence in the middle. All in all, this album is about as sophisticated as a drunken orgy in a brothel. And yet, curiously, it's one of the best things I've heard for a while. I'm not sure why I like it so much. My brain tells me to give it only one star. But that would be to miss the point. Music is fundamentally visceral. This album is full of raw energy and it has an undeniable feel-good factor like the early hits of the Beach Boys. It's also completely unpretentious. I just want to play it over and over again. I can't help singing along to Wetsuit despite the crap lyrics. My advice is to suspend your critical faculties; pretend you're thirteen once again and give it a go. Fun fun fun.
on 17 March 2011
For the past 5 or 6 years, perhaps longer, I've really struggled to get excited about any British guitar bands. America, Canada and Scandinavia have been churning out really inspired music, whilst the UK scene has produced bands that either seem to be either stuck in 2001, or intent on trying to break the mould without any real idea how, just so long as they get famous for a bit.
If I'm being honest, The Vaccines are doing nothing new. Their blend of post-punk, garage rock, new wave, noise pop and power pop follows that of countless bands to emerge during the last 10 or so years.
Where they differ however is that they don't try too hard. It's genuine, it's fresh, it's fun, it's not being made by some teenagers trying to be the next Strokes and pretending that they remember the Velvet Underground being together.
Quite simply, the songs are excellent, and they put to shame some of the embarrassingly average wannabees that Britain has produced in recent times.
It's not a 5-star album. That would be over-reacting. Around the middle it sort of tails off a bit, but it recovers well at the end, leaving the listener most satisfied.
If you like guitar-based indie rock, you'll really enjoy this record.
on 4 April 2011
This album mines the same sort of 80s period that The Drums debut so chirpily ripped off (in a good way of course). Sure it doesn't have the synths and the same slightly OTT production levels but while The Drums debut sounded very, well, American, this sounds very British (as both should be expected to sound).
I really enjoyed this album. Made me think back fondly to the time I came across The Cribs back in the day when they used to be good (first and second albums in other words). The album has a bit of a swagger to it and an almost disinterested/lazy vibe to it at times which I think sounds great.
Stepping up to a bigger stage is something I always thought ruined The Cribs so in a selfish sort of way I hope that this lot stay on the fringes of the main stream radar - I think they'd be all the better for it.
Anyway, well worth checking out. I think you'd be hard pushed not to enjoy it.
on 14 March 2011
I'm not sure that the journos will get this one. Basically, it's a music fans' album.
It offers some grandiosity but leaves you with an overall feeling that where you have been for the last half hour is "With The Vaccines"(which is, luckily, a title they decided not to go with).
It's the unexpected that is the real pleasure here. We all know Wreckin' Bar(Ra Ra Ra)as a deliciously surfin' fizzes-on-the-tongue single from a band that do not pad-it-out and 'Post break-up sex', 'Blow It Up' and 'If You Wanna' are accomplished, lovingly-executed stories but the Phil Spector-influenced 'Wetsuit' and Beatles Rock n' Roll of 'Norgaad' should bring a smile to the most cynical face.
The surf intro is nicely rounded off at the album climax with 'Family Friend' which leads out on some beautifully VU/Mary chain guitars and drums.
Although I doubt any of them were born when The Stone Roses debut album came out, in common with the Roses, Vaccines bring back(?)/along the sounds we all wanna hear and they do it with pleasure as opposed to posturing.
Expect to hear this album everywhere this Spring/Summer. Enjoy it then and now.
on 21 May 2012
Whilst there's nothing particularly original or innovative about The Vaccines, there are few British indie bands playing currently, who have a better ear for a catchy, rocky melody and whose lyrics are more in keeping with the present day, than The Vaccines. 'What Did You Expect From The Vaccines' was met with mostly excellent reviews upon its release, and the only real criticisms of the album came in focusing on its relatively generic sound; though it's a qualm easy to forget when the songs on show are as catchy as the tale of falling in love with a teenage girl, in 'Norgaard', the almost grungy drive of 'Post Break-Up Sex'; and even slower, more restrained numbers, such as 'All In White'. The band can also play fairly well, and whilst the album is primarily made up of fast drumming and driving riffs, there's a decent amount of variety on show; and frontman Justin Young's charismatic vocals also help to set The Vaccines apart from the pack. This is an album unlikely to change anyone's view of music, nor does it bring anything vastly new to the table; but it doesn't pretend to - and if what you're looking for is 12 great indie rock songs, full of memorable hooks and clever one-liners, then you won't go far wrong with 'What Did You Expect...'.
on 28 September 2011
this album is amazing and i would highly recommend buying it on vinyl, some of the songs sound even more perfect. especially 'somebody else's child'.
on 5 April 2011
So this isn't the best album ever,so what?. What it promises is over half an hour of great sing along tunes,with a few softer ones,and it delivers. If you like what you've already heard,i don't see why you won't like the album. I have played it loads already and have no desire to stop yet,not in the least bit disappointed.
on 6 August 2011
I was watching a music video - can't remember which one - on YouTube and on the side bar was the Vaccines video for Norgaard. I watched it. Then watched it again. And then I bought the album. What a refreshing change from the so-called indie bands that we are regularly served up. It has power, great lyrics and doesnt seem to have the pretentious element that so many 'emerging' bands have recently. I really enjoyed every single track. No weak spots but just good old fashioned guitar music with balls and great vocals. My one small gripe is the extra track tucked away a minute or so after the last listed song. Please don't do that -it's not a surprise anymore, pleasant or otherwise.
on 2 April 2011
This is a great album, full of great songs, the one stars just haven't listen or just do not appreciate good music. It's refreshing, yes bits are from other bands but they have some great riff sounds with melody and good song writing. Enjoy.
on 26 April 2011
What did I expect from The Vaccines? To be quite honest, not a lot. First impressions were that they were your average two-a-penny British Indie Rock band.
Fortunetly, after buying the full album, it would seem the Vaccines are striving to be so much more than that and eager to set themselves apart from the crowd.
The hugely energetic opener "Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra)" will be familiar to fans of bands like The Ramones, it's very short, loud and care-free. The same goes for Track 2, "If You Wanna" which, like a lot of the tracks here, is hugely catchy and fun.
Other standout tracks also include "A Lack Of Understanding" and "Blow It Up", both latching themselves into your brain and refusing to leave for days, leaving you humming and singing them over and over.
Track 5, "Wetsuit" is a lowpoint, and that's a shame as it starts off with some of my favouraite lyrics from the album, before leading to some that are absolutely hideous. I mean, "Put a wetsuit on c'mon c'mon, grow your hair out long c'mon c'mon" is hardly meaningful or powerful lyrics but there you go.
Other tracks that are fairly standard fare are "Under Your Thumb" and "Wolf Pack" but this is by no means a down side. They offer good contrast to some of the more brash songs and have some brilliant riffs under the soaring vocals (this being most apparent in "Under Your Thumb")
"Norgaard" and "Post Break-Up Sex" may be rude, crude and brash, but are in my opinion the album's highpoints, and may not be to everyone's tastes but the great thing is, they're not trying to be.
Overall, this is a fine indie rock album that stands out from the crowd and demands to be counted. It's not to everyone's tastes and is probaly a bit rude and crude for some. But really it's all about fun, friends, summer and rock. I mean, What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?