The Vaccines - The Vaccines Come Of Age
There has been no shortage of albums released this fall purporting to revive rock as we know it and keep it from the brink of extinction. One of the latest contenders looking to ascend the mountain of electric guitars are The Vaccines with Come of Age. The short order follow-up to 2011's successful What Did You Expect from The Vaccines? came out in North America on October 2nd, but had already hit number one on the albums chart in their native UK in early September.
The cover art would have you believe these are four lads willing to get dirty in the finest of British traditions, from the dirty blues of The Rolling Stones to the punkish Libertines. The album title is somewhat ironic, as instead of "being young and bored at 24," like chief immunizer Justin Young does right off the bat on in "No Hope", The Vaccines are a band doing their best to recapture the spirit of the new rock revolution of the early 2000s which swept thru their homeland just as powerfully as anywhere else (see the case of Monkeys, Arctic). Come of Age was even produced by Ethan Johns, who helped craft Kings of Leon's early sound that went over big with the kids across the pond.
The Vaccines seem to be at their best when Young and his guitar counterpart Freddie Cowan thrash about with reckless abandon, unafraid to break a few strings and jam for a bit while keeping the 11 tracks on Come of Age at a tidy 40 minutes. Every second song follows a fast-paced template of pub-like chants with an ever so subtle hint of pop to get people dancing. These are followed by slower efforts where Young tries to channel his best Morrissey and have his voice dominate over everything else. Although he has a baritonish boom that is unique to indie rock, this is where I found things fell a little flat. ("I Always Knew", "All in Vain" and "Weirdo" before the big melancholy finish of "Lonely World".)
There's some promising stuff to look forward to sweating to in clubs when The Vaccines return to North America in February, especially "Bad Mood" and the end of "Ghost Town", but I'm not quite ready to hail them as saviors yet... When's that new Franz Ferdinand album due again?
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