Number One, here they come
The Vaccines - Come Of Age

Well, here we are . The Vaccines - album number two. Who’da thunk it? After the overblown press coverage and over-playing of their debut, ‘Come Of Age’ must have been a ground to tread lightly on; an unstable landscape that could have caved instantly. Today’s listener has an insatiable appetite, one that is rarely satisfied fully, so it was right of the band to come back with a new album around a year after the release of their debut, as ‘What Did You Expect?’ was about to hit its expiration date for many. But is this record a rehash or rethink?

Early album tracks such as ‘All In Vain’ and ‘I Always Knew’ hark back to an intimate ’60s vibe, with the latter resembling a melancholic ‘She Loves You’ with its “It’s always you / woah woah woah”. ‘Ghost Town’ also looks to the past with its garage sensibilities, a clean flowing affair that’s creepy as it is catchy. Reshaping the ideals of their idols, The Vaccines cleverly introduce a style of music to a Radio 1 generation whose taste has never gotten further than the ’90s.

By far, the best song here is ‘Aftershave Ocean’: an effort full of Justin Young’s genius lyrical wit that switches from a happy-go-lucky melody to a musical personality breakdown. The soothing chord changes are thrown off course with odd stabbing distortion which is emphasied by the surprising switchover of angelic to demonic vocals, crowning itself as the best, weirdest and most lucid Vaccines tune to date.

This album has moved on enough for the judgmental lot who predicted that this would have been full of another bunch of premature ejaculation-esque one-minute pop punk wonders, but it has kept the signature radio friendly hooks that first got The Vaccines fans in the first place.

‘Come Of Age’ suggests leaving certain aspects of youth behind, which the band has, but they have not forgotten it completely. This sophomore release is a brave and stunning progression that now solidifies the statement that this group can grow past 2011 without going stale. Whatever 2013 holds for the fast growing lads, it surely isn’t the coffin. Number One, here they come.




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