The Vaccines / Handsome

January 19th 2015 saw the return of indie favourites The Vaccines, as they release new single ‘Handsome’ and potentially beginning the odyssey into their third LP campaign. Now here’s a short lesson on The Vaccines as well as an insight into Mojo20’s perspective on things. First album ‘What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?’ was an absolute triumph, providing 2011 with a whole bunch of catchy, fast paced indie-punk anthems that contained dumb relatable lyrics and were just a lot of fun, while at the same time introducing us all to a gang of cool, edgy new musicians that we were all going to exclaim were our new favourite band. Second effort came in the form of ‘Coming Of Age’ and had a very different sound, the edginess had gone, the look was a bit more cartoon like and the sound was a little hard to swallow. Not a complete disaster as a couple of songs from the second album were…. alright, but it wasn’t a patch on their debut, was quite a disappointment and also had me wondering, how did they write (an alleged) fifty odd songs, and  these were the best of the bunch? So as you can imagine, new material for a potential third record is met with a mix of trepidation, interest and concern.

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 18.19.01

Well as mentioned, we now how a small insight into what’s to come in 2015 from The Vaccines, and ‘Handsome’ can certainly be labelled as, catchy. It’s hard to find a great deal to say about it. It’s another up tempo indie pop track, much more similar to the material from the second album than the first which is a shame, but for some reason it seems to be a little more appealing. The content and lyrics are silly and playful, but at least this one is a little easier to relate to, unlike when ‘Teenage Icon’ was released, and the main feature was the actor/singer/teenage icon Frankie Avalon, despite the fact half the people who were fans of The Vaccines would have never known who the fuck he was. But this one on immediate reaction feels like a grower, and it initially inspires hope for an improvement to their last attempt. I also noticed a heavier use of reverb on the vocals that reminds me of Justin Young’s previous solo incarnation, Jay Jay Pistolet.  I think at this point, and it may be way too soon to actual make this claim, but the magic they had whilst creating the first album has gone, and we’re left with a slightly more cartoon like band. But then again, one comparison I always made with The Vaccines was one of my favourite bands of all time, The Ramones. The Ramones were initially the godfathers of punk, and helped to innovate the genre, inspiring bands like The Clash, Blondie and the Sex Pistols. But when you look a bit further into their back catalogue you’ll find a dramatic change in sound and direction, and a much more elaborate, over the top presentation of the brand and music. For both bands, it started with two and a half-minute songs that were rapid, gritty, intense and said everything in the lyrics whilst saying very little at the same time, only to become over indulged, much longer parodies of their previous success.

So we’ve been given a snippet, and it’s hopeful at best that improvements have been made, and all we can do is wait to see what comes next. Whatever happens, I’m sure this means you can guarantee a performance at every single festival in the summer of this year, and they’ll pile most of the new album in their set, but then what do you expect………. from The Vaccines. I’m sorry. Couldn’t help myself.

Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)

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