Category Archives: The Vaccines
The Vaccines – What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?
Just as the Strokes named their debut Is This It, the Vaccines shrug off their considerable hype by dubbing their first album What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? But as much as the British press wants to force the “Next Great British Group” label on them, the Vaccines aren’t it. The main reason is that all the former great British guitar groups always had something new to say, either musically or lyrically; however, this group doesn’t stray too far from the expected, quilting together choice elements from their favorite bands (The Strokes, Interpol, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Ramones) to create a friendly sound that’s attractive, though not exciting. It’s garage-y pop rattling with enough noise and reverb to keep it from the top of the charts but not abrasive enough to satisfy noise pop fans. In a sense, the Vaccines come across as a punchier Glasvegas (another NME favorite), replacing the majestic sweep of that band with a more direct attack. But even if they aren’t original, it doesn’t mean that the London quartet isn’t talented. Singles like “If You Wanna” and “Post Break-Up Sex” deliver the goods in neat, catchy packages; “Blow It Up” and “Wetsuit” have a relaxed charm, and “Nørgaard” is C86-inspired pop-punk. And though the lyrics may deal with jaded lovers and broken relationships, the Vaccines deliver anthem after anthem, the whole thing coming off like a carefree drive into the sunset. What Did You Expect certainly sounds fine while it’s on, but there’s not a whole lot to return to since the band members aren’t strong enough songwriters to create something truly compelling. What we do have here, though, is potential, and with sharper writing and more originality, the Vaccines could one day become the great guitar band everyone wants them to be.