In the World`s Indie scene new bands and solo projects appear every year, many of them don`t capture the attention with their debut album and then they keep growing and evolving creating new sounds to make a brilliant and solid record that identified them. In the other hand new upcoming bands gain success with an excellent first LP and then, with a second one, they don´t surpass the expectations and in the process they return to their musical roots to find the key to an authentic and original sound. Another groups maintain a good career, dissappear for several years and then come back triumphantly or in the worst of the cases they dissolve or disintegrate, loosing their musical path.
The need and risk to draw a new musical scheme
In the musical progress bands also can be risky to experiment with different flavours offering new albums full of fresh concepts and ideas giving a 180º turn to their sound looking for new horizons and finally drawing a whole new scheme. This turn can disagree some of their fans habituated to listen the same “formula” of the first albums without accepting the new proposals. The die-hard fans maybe could go away but a new audience will incorporate and accept the band with their constant changes.
It`s important that any band or musician should evolve and never repeat the same musical patterns or maintain an only style, but, of course, without loosing their own identity and don´t be submit to the pressure of the musical industry believing always in their own intuition elaborating melodies with total freedom. The true fans and music lovers will understand it and gave their approval considerating their skills in the compositions and the musical elaboration, this also will depend in the tastes and styles that everyone has and their particular vision.
The catchy pop tunes of the excellent debut album
Investigating new bands and new sonic proposals three years ago, and also with the recommendation of some friends, I decided to buy the debut album from THE VACCINES titled “What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?” (2011), which surprised me since the first listenings of Catchy Pop melodies full of Post-Punk-Rock, Surf-Rock, Power-Pop, etc.
One of the most popular song of the album is the “Post Break-Up Sex” single.
An excellent record where all the tracks can be amazing singles, how to forget great themes like “If You Wanna”, “PostBreak-Up Sex”, “Blow It Up”, “Wetsuit”, “Norgaard”, “All In White”, etc.
A successful album with great reviews, acclaimed worldwide and being one of the best debut albums of 2011.
THE VACCINES is a band formed in the city of London, England. Their members are: JUSTIN YOUNG (voices and guitars), ARNI HJÖRVAR (bass), FREDDIE COWAN (guitar) and PETE ROBERTSON (drums).
Defining the first album it works very well as a single entity, where every theme is connected with the others in some way. They have a characteristic sound that creates THE VACCINES style. There`s no big difference of styles but the album recreates a world and a trademark on his own and is great that it has been conceived that way. The influence of bands like THE RAMONES, THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN, THE RAVEONETTES, etc. is here but keeping a fresh and original style.
“Come of Age” (2012): The evolution of The Vaccines
The brand new album of the English band THE VACCINES is titled “Come Of Age” (2012) and in contrast of the debut LP, this second and new sonic adventure doesn`t work as a single entity because it has been create with a new focus in mind where every song has been conceived as an individual part with their own style. THE VACCINES want to bring us an unlimited palette of sounds with more influences. The first time I listen to the new record the themes don`t catch me immediately, the experience was different, it has to be played many times to grow on you, giving more attention from the listener to discover and understand the new songs because they are more complex and elaborated with an incredible mix of styles and influences. In conclusion this new album is less catchy and digestible than the first one.
The second album of a band will be a great measurer of their musical ability or their “fireproof” specially if their debut LP has been a great success with favourable reviews of the critics and fans, howsoever this is relative. Also if the record fulfilled high “expectations”, taking ironically the title of their first album: “What Did You “Expect” From The Vaccines?”(2011).
THE VACCINES has returned in great form with a new Indie alternative that meant a risky proposal. Easily they could repeat themselves with the same formula and continue with the success of the first record but they didn´t. That`s why this second delivery was not well-received from a part of the critics and the audience.
A point of break in their sound and influences
In reference of the comments in the introduction, some fans and critics were disappointed with the change and the new direction of “Come Of Age” (2012) qualifying negatively the album. I was really not surprised because they wanted a second part or a “ What Did You Expect…Vol.2” to listen more of the same but happily and smartly the band gave a completely new twist and a point of break in their sound, a great and a brave behavior. Another important detail is that the second album is titled “Come Of Age” and represents very well the new musical proposal and focus of the band.
The influences on this second album are very diverse: TELEVISION, LOVE, THE VENTURES, THE STOOGES, MC5, THE RAMONES, THE BYRDS, THE BEACH BOYS, THE BEATLES, THE ROLLING STONES, DAVID BOWIE, THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION, THE ELECTRIC PRUNES, BUZZCOCKS, IRON BUTTERFLY, THE GO-GO’S, R.E.M., THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN, BELLY, HIS NAME IS ALIVE, SPIREA X, INSPIRAL CARPETS, DARKSIDE, ADORABLE, THE RAVEONETTES, THE STROKES,etc.
The new songs of “Come of Age” (2012)
The new record contain 11 tracks and here they are:
1. “No Hope” is the great single that opens the album in a clever way following the fast and strong style of the debut album but much more flavoured. This is a Post-Punk-Folk song, the influence of THE RAMONES is not immediately. THE VACCINES show us another way of new riffs feeling bands like THE BYRDS and the first years of R.E.M., an outstanding introduction !!!.
The opener “No Hope” bring back memories of the historic band R.E.M.
2. One of my favourite songs is “I Always Knew”, also chosen as a single…a wonderful ballad that could belong to the first record but the musical structure invite us to know the changes and the sonic exploration. Justin`s voice is more shiny and clear and the chorus is amazing !!!. We feel a PIXIES, BREEDERS or BELLY air with pieces of Psychedelia.
“I Always Knew” is a beautiful ballas and a great example of the evolution of the band.
3. “Teenage Icon”: A very elaborated and Catchy Pop melody…like the song title it`s a “teen-pop” tune, but it goes deeper…Rockabilly of the 60s mixed with Post-Punk, and influenced by THE STOOGES, MC5, BUZZCOCKS, MOTHERS OF INVENTION, etc. Faster and very well synchronized…to dance all night long!!!.
The intelligent and funny Post-Punk style returns with this incredible song titled “Teenage Icon”.
4. In “All In Vain” THE VACCINES show us their ability to shine with a completely different and fresh theme…the Post-Punk style disappears to listen the non-stop guitar riffs. An optimistic and happy song with echoes of GEORGE HARRISON, THE BEATLES and TOM VERLAINE, a good change and a fantastic job, excellent !!!.
5. We found another brand new concept in “Ghost Town”…Ghostly and Hipnotic Post-Punk combined with Psychedelia…comes to my mind THE ELECTRIC PRUNES style as a reference and also the first EP from R.E.M. titled “Chronic Town” (1982), a great track !!!.
6. “Aftershave Ocean” show us a new musical side from the band, the particular sound of the guitar predominates in this amazing song…Justin sings with a great feeling in this very melodic, optimistic and melancholic ballad influenced by the iconic band LOVE and the genius of DAVID BOWIE but in a new context, one of my favourites…
Live session of the brilliant theme “Aftershave Ocean”. (Courtesy: FABFOURBEATLES).
7. One of the best moments of the new album and my favourite song is “Weirdo”, a fantastic theme, totally innovative and wonderful…the influence of the great band TELEVISION and his frontman TOM VERLAINE are notorious with THE VACCINES style…again the guitar is the center of attention and mixed with the chorus part creates an introspective and serene ambient…an awesome track!!!.
8. “Bad Mood”: Another of the original purposals…a visceral and fast cut, full of energy and electricity…Post-Punk meets Garage-Rock. The guitars are wrapped with a JIMMY HENDRIX air and also HIS NAME IS ALIVE in their stronger style. Simply incredible…pure dynamite !!!.
The bombastic “Bad Mood” and their constant changes makes a triunphant cut.
9. We continue in the Rockier way with “Change Of Heart Pt. 2”, the Rockabilly style comes back in this track, more Pop, funny and dynamic than the previous one…a detailed work on the drums. Let`s imagine THE STOOGES and MC5 in a new decade…
10. THE VACCINES surprise us happily again with a new musical point of view in “I Wish I Was A Girl”, another of my choices with a Funky y Rhythm & Blues touch. Justin`s voice is more colourful with an experimental vibe…we find here the Psychedelic Rock of THE ROLLING STONES and PIXIES plus THE VACCINES trademark, a deluxe track !!!.
“I Wish a Girl” is an excellent Neo-Psychedelic, Indie and Neo-Progressive collage.
11. “Lonely World” is a tender song, romantic and very Dreamy that take us to the Surf-Rock world and the 60s decade…remind me the best guitar riffs of THE BEACH BOYS, THE VENTURES, LOVE, etc, etc., with the particular style of THE VACCINES, a great final point !!!.
“English Graffitti” (2015): The return of The Vaccines
Some weeks ago THE VACCINES confirmed their new upcoming release titled “English Graffiti” (2015) available on march of this year. The brand new single from this album is called “Handsome” and means a frenetic and excellent trip of sweetened guitars with a fresh and particular Bubblegum-Pop and Power-Pop style that we have not heard before. Along the whole theme we can feel an infinite number of claps and persistent drums with a festive and catchy air, a captivating and seductive song.
In the other side, in 2013, they recorded the “Melody Calling” single, and it represented a new twist in their sound incorporating, with a great emphasis, the Dream-Pop style creating a more melodic tune wrapped of ethereal textures and atmospheres with a big touch of Surf-Rock.
These two new singles represent a great advance of the sound that we will appreciate in “English Graffiti” (2015). The evolution of their Music will continue.
“Handsome” is a frenetic single and an excellent trip of catchy guitars sweetened with a particular power-pop and a Bubblegum-Pop flavour.
The track “Melody Calling” (2013) combine soft and sweet dream-pop melodies.
The Vaccines in Lima: An amazing concert
The concert played in Lima by THE VACCINES was an outstanding presentation full of professionalism and courage on stage showing that their music works very well live as on the studio, an essential part of every band. The show pushed all the limits with an hyper-connection generating many emotions and motivations giving, as a result, an intense concert that I didn`t feel a long time ago. An spectacular experience with lots of adrenaline, also the audience answered immediately with great vibes. An important detail is that the band played the entire first album live and a great part of the second one…awesome !!!.
THE VACCINES played live in Lima on May 14th, 2013 in Scencia, La Molina. It`s really important that our city was selected as part of their tour because THE VACCINES is a very well known band around the world, offer the same show in every country and finally they are at the top of their successful career. The concert surpass all the expectations and show an authentic band with a remarkable an original performance on stage getting closer to the impact of their Music.
The ingenious and Arty scenography, that is the same in every country they play around the world, marked the meaning of their Music in contrast of the shows that offer many “artists” or “super stars of rock and pop” more worried about the special effects, the costumes, the choreographies, etc…Pseudo artists more concerned in the money value than the real Musical value and sold to the mainstream.
Finally, it was very interesting for me to share this amazing video where THE VACCINES surprise us playing a cover of the song “The Winner Takes It All”, from the exceptional and legendary Swedish ABBA band as part of an acoustic session for the French Radio OÜI FM.
Acustic session for the french radio OÜI FM where we can see The Vaccines playing, in an excellent way, the cover “The Winner Takes It All”, from the incredible swedish band ABBA. (Courtesy: RADIO OÜI FM).
Photos and videos: Courtesy of Columbia Records, OÜI FM Radio and THE VACCINES.
Additional artwork, graphics and photos: Fernando Rivera Rodríguez.
Translation: Fernando Rivera Rodríguez.
Web page edition: Jorge Bazo Escudero.
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Fernando Rivera Rodríguez: Architect. Has collaborated on the Peruvian magazine Dosis: Perú`s
Alternative Culture. Collector of Indie Music, Experimental, Electronic, Shoegaze, Dream-Pop,
Psychedelia, Krautrock, Post-Rock, New-Wave, Post-Punk, Dark-Rock, etc. since the 60`s to the present.
Fan of the 4AD Records label and bands like COCTEAU TWINS, STEREOLAB and DEAD CAN DANCE