By Amy Turner
‘Come of Age’ the second album from The Vaccines has been playing on repeat for the past couple of days and I am struggling to find fault with it. The London boys have created another load of tracks that are easy on the ear and while sticking to their simple lyrics method they have gone down a slightly rockier road and given the record a more retro 60s feel. The songs are catchy without being annoying and though it may only be in the form of baby steps, you can see that the band are evolving, which considering the short time frame in which this second album has been released is pretty impressive. ‘Come of Age’ ticks all The Vaccines boxes but is still easily identifiable as a new, separate record. Justin Young’s vocals sound slightly different but this could just be a result of the throat surgery he underwent not so long ago. They have also put down the acoustic guitars, introduced more electric and now wear matching denim.
You are welcomed into the album with the engulfing intro to ‘No Hope’, the debut single from the album which has already received extensive radio play and gone down extremely well at the host of festivals graced by The Vaccines this summer. ‘No Hope’ is where the first major difference can be heard – this song is over 4 minutes long, compared with the collection of 2 and half minute tracks from last year’s ‘What Did You Expect?’ This track sets the tone for the rest of the album with Young’s vocals at times ever so slightly hinting at Bob Dylan.
‘Teenage Icon’ is the second single to be released and still one of my favourites; it is incredibly catchy and a guaranteed crowd pleaser. I love the way this song addresses their feelings towards their new found fame, it’s is laced with irony (as is the rest of the album) as Justin Young compares himself to Frankie Avalon, a man who according to Wikipedia, was a bit popular in the 50s.
Other tracks to listen out for are ‘Aftershave Ocean’ which continues the retro vibe, ‘Weirdo’ and ‘Bad Mood’ which really highlights their decision to take this album down a more rocky path, I imagine this song goes really well with their new long locks. It is true that the band now have rock star hair but maybe this is just because Justin young wishes he was a girl; ‘Life is easy when you’re easy on the eye’. Track 10 ‘I wish I was A Girl’ has a definite 60s, chilled feel to it and slows the album down, nicely leading into the final track ‘Lonely World’ which is perhaps the reflective ‘Wetsuit’ of this album.
In summary ‘Come of Age’ is pretty damn good, it was only in December 2011 that I listed ‘What did you expect from The Vaccines’ as my number 1 album of 2011, so to be reviewing the second album so positively in August 2012 is rather impressive. There is no doubt that The Vaccines are an insanely hardworking band who deserves every ounce of success they achieve. ‘Come of Age’ has brought us something new from The Vaccines without sacrificing the elements of their music that we love so much. This band won’t stop or slow down for anyone or anything it seems, but when you’re young and bored and 24…what else is there to do?
The Vaccines Come of Age is available from Monday September 3rd on Columbia.
UK tour dates, tickets available now:
The dates are:
15th Nov Plymouth, Pavilions
17th Nov London, Alexandra Palace
19th Nov Leicester, De Montford Hall
21st Nov Manchester, Apollo
22nd Nov Liverpool, University
23rd Nov Doncaster, Dome
25th Nov Glasgow, O2 Academy – SOLD OUT
26th Nov Glasgow, O2 Academy
27th Nov Newcastle, O2 Academy
29th Nov Birmingham, O2 Academy
30th Nov Bournemouth, O2 Academy