The Vaccines

Come Of Age

Written by: TL on 19/09/2012 10:57:38

When The Vaccines debuted with their first album "What Did You Expect From The Vaccines" last year, they did so to such hype and fanfare from the hippest of European music media that you couldn't help but meet them with a little scepticism. And so I did, finding that album to be highly stylish, yet only moderately catchy and hardly the deepest of musical dishes. I still went to see the band at this year's Roskilde Festival however, and was rewarded for my effort with a fun, energetic show that ultimately may have made me just a tad more optimistic for the band's recently released follow-up "Come Of Age".

The Vaccines have hardly changed a winning formula. They still mix the energetic, simplistic approach of vintage punk-rock alá The Ramones, with the grimey attitudes of British indie rock like that of Arctic Monkeys. The main difference that must be noticed on "Come Of Age" is simply that the band has gotten quite a good deal better at it. While "What Did You Expect.." had roughly a fifty-fifty split of relatively catchy numbers and others that had more of a filler quality to them, there is simply not a single song on ""Come Of Age" that could not be released as a single for the album. Such is the band's proficiency with their chosen traditional approach to songwriting, that each of their numbers here become easily singalongable to even the most casual listener after just a few listens.

That makes for an album that is enjoyable up front and immediately, which is good because apart from their extreme catchyness and their highly recognisable songs, The Vaccines aren't exactly firing on many other cylinders. If you like intriguing twists in song structure or surprising changes to melodies or rhythms, you have come to the wrong place entirely. For edge The Vaccines rely entirely on the slightly fuzzy, retro quality of their sound and that's pretty much it.

If that sounds detrimental it's because it is, but only ever so slightly on "Come Of Age", because really, if every band could write an album of songs that all make listeners want to dance and sing along, I'm sure the vast majority would do so at least once, because such consistency is really no small feat. Add some bonus points for quirky yet often relatable lyrics and while The Vaccines still have never delivered any particularly intense experiences, the final tally still looks like the one of an all together respectable second album. One which is primarily to be commended for its wealth of individual tracks which I'm already looking forward to singing along to when I go see the band for the second time this year in October.


Download: No Hope, Teenage Icon, Aftershave Ocean, Weirdo
For The Fans Of: Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, Glasvegas, Chapel Club

Release Date 03.09.2012

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