REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

The Vaccines Experiment Throughout 'English Graffiti'

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

After their latest release dated 2012 “Come of Age” and a two whole years of touring and festivals, London-based band The Vaccines took a break to work on their new album at the end of Summer 2013. They have spent over a year in India, Vietnam and Hong Kong, and they came back for a bunch of new gigs in November 2014.

In January 2015, lead singer Justin Young announced the title of their forthcoming album while talking with Zane Lowe on BBC Radio 1. Today, they release their third album “English Graffiti”, that has been available to stream on The Guardian's website since last Tuesday. There are two versions of this album: a standard one with eleven tracks, and a deluxe one with eighteen tracks (three more tracks plus four reimagined versions of “Handsome”, “Dream Lover”, “20/20" and “Give me a sign”).

The first three tracks of the album, “Handsome”, “Dream Lover” and “Minimal Affection” have been the first, second and third single respectively released by the band during the first half of the year. Picking “Handsome” as first track and first single was definitely the best choice; its catchy rhythm and lyrics remain faithful to The Vaccines' original sound, a vibe that can be felt in all the other tracks of the album as well.

It must be said, however, that the album is also highly influenced by the sound of older music decades. “Dream Lover” for instance sounds like a 80's-kind of ballad, while “20/20” and “Radio Bikini” sounds like a mix of The Ramones and some band from the 50's; “Minimal Affection” is more of a electro-pop song; “(All Afternoon) In Love” has a very melancholic vibe, which we find again at the end of the album with the track “Undercover”. Nevertheless, “Give me a sign” is the most heterogeneous track, from its start till its end, with a glorious chorus that marks its climax.

What else? These guys definitely changed something! They've finally started to experiment way more than in their previous works, with the result of an enjoyable record to play during the summer.

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Words by Ludovica Guida