What did you expect from an album review? → FIND ←

Sunday, 19 June 2011 11:33 pm
tags: music review thevaccines

The Vaccines' debut offering, What did you expect from The Vaccines? came a little early on in the year to be dubbed the sound of the summer, but I'd say the London 4-piece's 11-track, 36-minute album is a strong contender for the title. I'm often a little hesitant throwing the world 'pop' around, but I can safely say this is one of the best pop records I've heard this year.

There's nothing complicated with 'What did you expect...', it's just a fun album, with tune after tune, each snappier than the last. Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra) introduces the record; arguably the catchiest of them all, in under a minute and a half, with a brazen nod of the head to The Ramones. If You Wanna keeps the momentum rolling with the same bright, ferociously strummed guitar, disappointingly losing a little punk from the vocals.

The album then seems to take an alternative route, with A Lack of Understanding, Wetsuit and Under Your Thumb, whilst delivering notable, bouncing melodies, slow the pace down and at times you find yourself willing for the energy that Ra Ra Ra threw in your face. Norgaard delivers all sorts of fun but, similarly, is over just a little too quickly. Blow it Up brings an awesome combination of loud, meaningful vocals with equally punchy lead guitar. Post Break-up Sex is a trip down teenage memory lane, with poignant, angsty lyrics and an hauntingly memorable chorus to boot.

Family Friend is a top song to round-off the album. The slowest of them all, it patiently builds momentum to a minute-long crescendo of thumping percussion and shouted lyrics that would feel right at home on a festival stage this summer. The slowly strummed chords and chiming lead guitar and solid drumming makes this is a stand-out track, just begging to be played behind a slow-motion montage.

This is an album that you feel like you get within the first few listens. But really, you don't start appreciating its simplicity until the 10th or so effort. It is a repetitively consistent jollification of an indie pop record. And I'm rating it thusly:

Rating: 4/5