With Kettle Mag recently reviving the Band of the Week feature, I’ve decided to choose a band who have similarly returned to the music scene – The Vaccines!
The band came together in 2010, and is made up of West Londoners Justin Hayward-Young (lead vocals, guitar), Freddie Cowan (lead guitar, vocals), Árni Árnason (bass, vocals) and Pete Robertson (drums, vocals). They describe their influences as “50’s rock‘n’roll through to 80’s American hard core, and a lot of good pop music,” and have toured with countless indie-rock powerhouses, from Arctic Monkeys all the way through to the Rolling Stones.
With their last album Come of Age in 2012 being released just a year after their debut album What Did You Expect from The Vaccines? (2011) the band have been pretty silent on the album front… Until now. In November 2014 they announced their new album English Graffiti would be finished by the end of the year, and it will be released on 25th May 2015.
Ahead of the album release, they’ve revealed two singles – Handsome (19th Jan) and Dream Lover (30th March), which subsequently made Xfm’s Top 5 Songs Of The Week last week. While Handsome stayed fairly true to the band’s repertoire of self-proclaimed “clunky lyrics” and their unstoppable teenage energy, Dream Lover is entirely different and by far their most mature song to date. The opening bars massively echo Arctic Monkeys’ hit R U Mine? and the overall tone of the song is far more mellow (but no less catchy, trust me, this tune is a grower!) than their previous songs. Frontman Justin Young revealed that the upcoming album sounds “more like a rock record than an indie record,” and described the change in style as “ambitious”.
— BBC Radio 1 (@BBCR1) April 20, 2015
Nonetheless, The Vaccines’ tunes haven’t lost any of their catchiness and teenage charm. Even just listening to them whilst writing this article I’ve ended up singing into water bottles, hairbrushes and other inanimate objects more frequently and more loudly than I care to admit (you’re welcome, neighbours). The songs are hugely accessible with lyrics that can be picked up after just a couple of listens and melodies that even the most rhythmically challenged of us can dance to!
Best Band at Reading and Leeds
The best part? They’re amazing live too! For so many bands, playing live is their weak point. Either they sound amazing and have the stage presence of a teaspoon, or they really go for it and enjoy performing to the crowd but just can’t land those challenging notes at the same time. For The Vaccines, however, this just simply isn’t true. In 2011 they were named Best Band Of The Weekend at Reading and Leeds Festival by NME Magazine, and in 2013 they were nominated for Best Live Act at the Brit Awards. Having been at Leeds Festival at 2011 and seen The Vaccines I can tell you the award was well deserved. The band’s raw energy onstage mixed with their catchy, bouncy tunes make for the perfect feel-good experience. Even with the typical British weather and a somewhat disheartened crowd, nobody left The Vaccines’ set without a smile on their face and still chanting the words to the infamous, and oh-so-accurate, Post Break-Up Sex.
If you want to see The Vaccines live they’ll be playing at loads of festivals this summer, including Glastonbury, T in the Park and Kendal Calling. They’re also launching their UK tour for English Graffiti in November.
What do you think? Are you a fan of the Vaccines? Let us know in the comments section below!