12 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Britain’s Vaccines hit in a big way across the pond with their singles-laden debut, What Did You Expect From the Vaccines? Their brand of post-punk-rooted commercial rock fits in nicely with bands like the Strokes and Arctic Monkeys, though the Vaccines’ occasional foray into a big, fist-pumping guitar sound (“All In White,” “Post Break-Up Sex”), might put off some stalwart indie-rockers. But the Vaccines have enough scruffy edge and reverb to work their charms on fans of, say, No Age or Male Bonding, and those songs present the band at their best. Just listen to opener “Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra),” a breakneck-paced, dizzyingly wonderful minute and a half of howling guitars and silly lyrics, or “Blow It Up,” a Jesus and Mary Chain-flavored tune full of corrosive, gritty guitar layers and atmospherics, yearning to be a pop song. “Wolf Pack” goes dangerously close into the “too big” category, but is saved with its insanely catchy chorus and cow-punk drum gallop, and “If You Wanna” has all the summertime bounce of Best Coast. Hopefully this young band will outlive the “big hit” backlash likely to come along, because they make darn good rock music.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Britain’s Vaccines hit in a big way across the pond with their singles-laden debut, What Did You Expect From the Vaccines? Their brand of post-punk-rooted commercial rock fits in nicely with bands like the Strokes and Arctic Monkeys, though the Vaccines’ occasional foray into a big, fist-pumping guitar sound (“All In White,” “Post Break-Up Sex”), might put off some stalwart indie-rockers. But the Vaccines have enough scruffy edge and reverb to work their charms on fans of, say, No Age or Male Bonding, and those songs present the band at their best. Just listen to opener “Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra),” a breakneck-paced, dizzyingly wonderful minute and a half of howling guitars and silly lyrics, or “Blow It Up,” a Jesus and Mary Chain-flavored tune full of corrosive, gritty guitar layers and atmospherics, yearning to be a pop song. “Wolf Pack” goes dangerously close into the “too big” category, but is saved with its insanely catchy chorus and cow-punk drum gallop, and “If You Wanna” has all the summertime bounce of Best Coast. Hopefully this young band will outlive the “big hit” backlash likely to come along, because they make darn good rock music.

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