Concerts put on by The Vaccines are not for the faint of heart. Their brand of straightforward, bare bones rock‘n’roll is played at breakneck speed, live and induces plenty of bumping, jumping and moshing within their primarily still-hormonal fan base. The band’s show at Terminal 5 on 31st January, their fourth in New York in a year, was no exception.
The Vaccines, as a band, hark back to days gone by: music with little production and consisting mostly of guitars, bass and drums, a uniform style of blue denim and black t-shirts, and an appreciation for stripped down tunes free of much of the technological fodder so many bands rely on heavily these days. However, there is nothing overly retro about the band’s music. In fact, even considering their nostalgic style, the fact that their music is so unique within today’s rock canon gives them a wholly modern and unmatched sound.
The Vaccines are at their best when they perform anthemic tracks with easy-to-sing-along-to lyrics about heartbreak, love and lust. There’s little pretension to be found at their shows. Perhaps the best example of the sort of fervor they inspire in their audience is Wetsuit, a single from their first album, What Did You Expect From the Vaccines?, is one of the few tracks with keyboard and a single guitar, and yet, its simplicity is key. Nearly the entire crowd was swaying and singing along.
Though The Vaccines’ second album, Come of Age, has been described as a “sophomore slump” by some, the songs from the band’s second venture are given new life on stage. Aftershave Ocean and Bad Mood, two of the best tracks from the album, were played with so much more ferocity and vigor that they were hardly recognizable compared with their studio counterparts.
With Justin Young’s weighty vocals and excellent frontmanship, Freddie Cowan’s simple, but nevertheless poignant guitar solos, Árni Hjörvar’s heavy, driving bass, and Pete Robertson’s almost primal drumming, The Vaccines are well on their way to continuing success, and have already become one of the best live acts around today.
Photos: Adhat Campos
Come of Age was released on 3rd September 2012 and is available nationwide.
Watch the video for Aftershave Ocean here