Album Review: The Vaccines – ‘What Did You Expect from the Vaccines?’

As I’ve posted before, I like the Vaccines.  I think the UK band writes great songs and put on great shows.  They aren’t pretentious and don’t come off as anything except a band trying to play good music.  All four of them get along with each other and are clearly enjoying the newfound attention their music is getting.  These are just some of the reasons that their debut album is going to end up on my year end ‘Best of 2011’ list…

So they’re a bit overhyped.  But what band praised by NME isn’t?  Sure, I disagreed with their billing as the new saviours of rock ‘n’ roll, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t one hell of a solid band.  Almost every song on this LP is a potential single, from the Ramones-tinged “Norgaard” to the Strokes-flavored “If You Wanna.”  They’re not afraid of an easy chorus, a catchy melody, or anything else that other groups balk at when looking for something more ‘artistic.’  If the Ramones made a career on three chords, I can’t imagine what the Vaccines will do with four.

On the record, which clocks in at a slim 33 minutes, the band cranks out eleven (maybe twelve?) instantly memorable hooks for listeners to gorge upon.  The best tracks are the ones previously released, but every other song does its part to add to the vibe and the whole of the album.  “A Lack of Understanding” is a strong ballad, and sets up the back and forth pacing of the disc.  Of course, this is only after the one-two K.O. opening that is “Wrecking Bar” and “If You Wanna.”  After every listen, I feel the only reason I can’t recall how the album ends  is that there are too many great songs to process in the first half.  There’s just not enough room in my brain. 

What Did You Expect… reminds me of Free Energy’s debut in that sense; an album where every song is so solid that you can’t remember them all.  That’s not a bad place to be at for any group, and I can’t wait for whatever this band does next…

The Vaccines – Blow It Up

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2 responses to “Album Review: The Vaccines – ‘What Did You Expect from the Vaccines?’

  1. Pingback: The Vaccines – “Tiger Blood” | racecar spacecar

  2. Pingback: Racecar Spacecar’s Top 50 Albums of 2011 | racecar spacecar

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