Few bands make albums that flow from song to song without stumbling into the concept album grounds. British punk/alternative band The Vaccines have managed just that with their recent album Come Of Age. Somehow this album manages to sum up all of those adolescent feelings between its addictive lyrics and its attacking yet familiar instrumentation. The album flows naturally from song to song each sounding like they were birthed to be a sequential part of a soundtrack. They also made the strange choice to make the cover art a female version of themselves. The vocals blunt lyrics and playful melodies keep it fresh, playfully dropping into the low register casually where most singers wouldn’t.
Here’s “No Hope”:
The opening track “No Hope” starts the album with the raw distorted mix of pedals slowly disintegrating into the song who’s chorus has that right mix catchyness and noise to make it fresh every time you hear it. “I Always Knew” is one those songs that sounds so sweet it’s hard not to smile every time you reach the chorus. From it’s corny lick and it’s euphoric chorus it manages to pull out that emotional response that some songs try so hard to do. “Teenage Icon” is a bashful song, starting with the snare-tom mix that usually hint at more aggressive songs, it runs into each chorus with guitars shredding and a chorus line that will stay with you. The melancholy sound of “All in Vain” recalls the feelings of dealing with someone who treats you like garbage until you finally decide you’re done with them.
The album gets more punk and dark in “Ghost Town” which sounds like a villainous driving song, that chugs along with fury. “Aftershave Ocean” plays into the typical sounding chorus but manages to use it’s distorted guitars to give it an edge that keeps it angry. It’s stomp into “IG-NO-RENCE IS BLISS” in its second verse make it weird enough to save from the wayside. “Weirdo” is a intimate, mostly vocal song that falls into a repetitive chorus that feels like it was meant to anthem many a lost souls sad moments, the strange sound of the guitar also gives it a suitably weird feel.
The album jumps right back into the angry guitars with “Bad Mood” that hits hard on all instruments and jumps into a B section that yells with its singer. There’s a somewhat surfy feel to “Change of Heart”, not a stand out but right at home on the album. “I Wish I Was A Girl” is a jealous look on the advantages girls have that some guys secretly crave. “Lonely World” is a sun coming up, end of the night kind of song that closes the album on a softer nostalgic feel.
and the sweet “I Always Knew”:
Their first album (What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?) which I won’t write a full post about also has a few standouts. “Norgaard” a quick song (1:30 to be exact) about longing for a model seen in a magazine. The song is about Danish model Amanda Norgaard (the chorus line is A-M-A-N DA NORGAARD), who also stars in the music video. “If You Wanna” and “Post Break Up Sex” are more reverb heavy songs but still manage to have the bands catchy choruses and slightly distorted edge.
I’ve also included the whole Come of Age album since I enjoyed it so much for those who like the singles enough.
Any suggestions? Post your ideas in the comments and I’ll add what I like to my list!!