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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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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.
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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.
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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.
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This is indie chart staple that some would and do say has been done to death, but it is ruddy great. Opening track `Wreckin bar rar, ra , ra', is a 90 second homage to The Ramones and what a great way to kick off such a joyous album.

All of the tracks could be singles, and sometimes that can be annoying, but they are all so good that it just makes this one album that you don't feel you need to fast forward any tracks at all. The obvious pithy wit, irony and verve that is `Post break up sex' is probably the most stand out track, but only just, a real crowd pleaser and floor filler. Track 5 `Wetsuit'; is slower but still has enough momentum to hook you and take you along for the ride. Personal favourite is `A lack of understanding', as it seems to be about me and I like it when you can instantly empathise with a song. The vocals are great too and are all delivered so clear that a lyric sheet is not needed. I have had this a couple of weeks now and during that time three of my fave bands have brought out new albums; this however has been a constant on my MP3 despite all the other music I have been getting. It just feels like summer, sex, angst and fun all rolled up in a great package that you can dance to (but in my case - not very well).

There is a twelfth track `Somebody else's child that is tucked at the end of track 11 and not available on download, this is the slowest and most reflective number and makes the album approach, as opposed to a download, probably the better option.

Also not my typical genre, but for indie rock fans who like their music accessible, upbeat, with great lyrics tight playing and some heartfelt humour, then this is indie heaven.
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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.
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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...'.
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on 14 March 2011
Its only March and maybe too early to be talking of 'Best album of the year' but this would surely be a serious contender for me. For a debut album, The Vaccines sound highly assured and reel off rousing and anthemic tracks with consumate ease... If you like the previous singles 'If You Wanna' and 'Post Break Up Sex' you will love this... Personal favourites include the two singles plus 'A Lack Of Understanding' and 'Blow It Up'. I can see them going down a storm during the summer festivals...
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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.
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on 15 September 2011
If you look at the music press reviews for this album you get the predictable comparisons spouted forth (Ramones and The Strokes in particular, ad nauseum) however this simply detracts from the genius that are The Vaccines. What they have achieved here is surely an indelible mark on the music industry with their debut album. Yes, the comparisons are there, but it is impossible these days to be pigeonholed in a particular genre and at the same time not be compared to the champions of that genre.

So, rant over - to the music then. Well, either The Vaccines are ridiculously consistent, or they have a veritable goldmine of songs from which they have handpicked these 11 nuggets (or 12 if you count the bonus track Somebody Else's Child). You only need to listen once to songs such as If You Wanna, Lack of Understanding, Wetsuit or Post Break-Up Sex to be singing along like a lifelong fan by the last chorus.

The album doesn't stop there however. Album tracks such as Blow It Up and All In White are incredibly good. As for the album opener and closer (Wreckin' Bar and Family Friend respectively), what a fantastic intro and closer to the proceedings. You can tell that this band is striving to be so much more than 3 minute post-punk/indie clones.

Yes, under close scrutiny some of the lyrics can be nonsensical at times, but who cares? The Vaccines get away with it because they simply pull it off with a large helping of charm and mouth wateringly catchy tunes. What's more, they seemingly achieve this effortlessly, something that cannot be said for many of The Vaccines' contemporaries in their genre in recent years.

Simply put, this is one of the best debut albums I have heard since 1994, something that I don't actually recall saying all that often in the preceding 17 years.
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on 12 January 2013
I had no expectations, really, but this disappointed me a bit. I tend to agree with the review by "tree iron leg onion" (congratulations for the nickname) but I recognise the effort placed in making this, and its playability. In fact, it suits as background music while preparing dinner. I am not sure it goes further. I believe unfortunately this CD will end up in one remote corner of the rack.
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