Opinion: The Vaccines
By Tom Ingham
Hypocrite! That’s what you might shout if you came across my review of The Vaccines Academy gig last year. To tell you the truth, I was reasonably impressed. The band were polished, tight, charismatic and played their hits the goddamn best they could. However, that doesn’t stop me from thinking the people who like them are fools. I review gigs based on the band and if they perform to the best of their ability, but you can do that and still be crap. I’m sure One Direction’s tour will be flawless as long as the roadie knows where the play button is.
The problem for me is, well, The Ramones. The Vaccines riffs are very ‘influenced’, to put it kindly. Their album is full of memorable melodies but who can go wrong with 4 chord rock? Listening to the platinum selling debut, What Did You Expect From the Vaccines?, I can’t help but slowly drift into unconsciousness as the album drifts through predictable riff after predictable riff. Perhaps my biggest gripe is with the monumentally terrible lyrics in ‘Post Break Up Sex’ which just leaves me empty inside. There seems to be no let up – the music has no imagination and the same can be said for the lyrics. Take ‘If You Wanna’ for example. Any bets on how long it took them to come up with that?
Yes, bands sound like other bands, you can’t get away from that. But The Vaccines are no cure to the musical stagnation in the indie scene; instead they put me on a flight straight to a Swiss clinic. Most songs can be traced back to The Ramones – ‘The KKK Took My Baby Away’ is as near as makes no difference to ‘Post Break Up Sex’ and ‘Norgaard’ is unashamedly ‘Blitzkreig Bop’ in disguise.
There is just one crucial difference: The Ramones have attitude and passion and don’t rely on shit loads of reverb to make them sound interesting.