So, what were you expecting from The Vaccines? I'm only joking kids for those who caught on, if not, that was the name of the London based band's first debut album. But ironically, that's what everyone was asking when 'Come of Age' hit the shelves, what exactly are we expecting this time around?
Basically, don't have any expectations. They're back with new haircuts, new outfits and a new sense of musical style. I went into this album with HUGE expectations and after I listened to the record in it's entirety I have to admit I was quite disappointed. I was expecting another 'Wrecking Bar' or another 'Norgard' and it never happened. So, I went away and came back to 'Come of Age' for a second round; and I loved it. The band have clearly grown up over the last 2 years and this is influenced in the darker tones, the heavier riffs and a lot more swearing "You know I'm fucking moody" Justin growls over the omniscient tones of 'Wierdo'. To me; it's like The Vaccines are trying to be the moody teenager that everyone hates, lyrically represented in tracks such as 'Teenage Icon' or 'Bad Mood'. Not everyone will like this heavily grown up Vaccines; as there was something quite childlike & pleasant about the first record, juxtaposed with the 'difficult' moody second album. Just do a quick comparison:
Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra) - The Vaccines
Bad Mood - The Vaccines
It's funny, it's like we're watching these boys become men. It's the record antithesis of the year! Compare the joyfulness of Wreckin' Bar to the bleakness of Bad Mood, the titling 'Come of Age' is no mere coincidence. This record is telling the story of youth, the dangers of growing up, the underlying sexuality ('I Wish I Was A Girl') and finally coming of age. On a further level, one could compare the 'Come of Age' story to the on growing success of the band itself. Maybe the record is a middle finger to the press; the aspect of commercialism. I personally see it as "We're being ourselves and if you don't like it fuck you". But then at times, it's like they're trying too hard to be rebellious, at 4-5 minute songs each...it can quite tedious. I found myself nearly falling asleep during 'Lonely World'. So then, it seems like The Vaccines are stuck in a limbo of not knowing who they are.
But, I do admire the second record. Not many bands can pull it off; they either get slated for sticking to thier roots or get slated for going in to different of a direction musically. How can they win?! I then suppose this goes back to the 'fuck you' theory. The songs are catchy, with a nice 60's influence (see 'All in Vain') but they're not necessarily ground-breaking like the first record. It's catchy, you'll dance, you'll sing and most likely remember what it was like to be a teenager. (or start acting like one, take your pick.)