So far in 2011 London 4-piece The Vaccines have been hyped and ridiculed in equal measure. Ignoring the jibes about their apparently privileged backgrounds and being cast as guitar music’s great saviors, how does their debut record fare?
What Did You Expect From The Vaccines‘ is more than a ‘guilty pleasure’. It’s one of those albums that pop up every now and again which manage to blur the lines between the alternative and mass appeal; Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, The View et al.
The record flirts between two nuances; the atmospheric broodiness of Glassvegas and up-tempo bursts of 3-chord-garage-indie-rock. Opener ‘Wreckin Bar’ is an 84-second salvo of raucous fun and short sharp bash-em-out’s ‘Wolfpack’ and ‘Norgaard’ continue this lively trend.
The later epitomizes one of the records weaknesses, lyrics. It lacks a certain substantiveness, preferring issues of youthful insecurities and affairs of the heart a la ‘If You Wanna’ or ‘Post Break Up Sex’, both of which bona fide festival sing-a-longs certs. This flaw can be pushed to one side, after all it is this youthful expression, naivety and energy which is the lynchpin for which the all this albums hangs.
Is it groundbreaking or original? No, not at all but it is fun, endearing and charming single-a-long guitar antics. You know what? Sometimes that is enough.
The Vaccines play Dublin’s Academy this Friday, March 25th. Doors 7:30/€15.