MTV Brand New for 2013: The Vaccines bring fresh indie rock to the Electric Ballroom
Since 2010, the plucky young lads known as The Vaccines have been causing a stir among up-and-coming indie rock bands, as well as with those who are already living the dream. Attention from Franz Ferdinand, Mumford & Sons and The Maccabees bodes well for the boisterous and refreshing band. Having been compared to The Ramones and The Strokes, it appears that there is still hope for The Vaccines and rock music amid the pollution that clogs the charts.
But beyond believing the hype, seeing them live was the ultimate test by which to judge their potential. Their set for MTV Brand New for 2013 at Camden’s Electric Ballroom opened with No Hope, a catchy tuneful sound into teenage alienation and angst.
Albeit an extremely overused topic for rock music, the performance was good. With Justin belting the vocals and Freddie hammering the guitar, there was no doubt about their passion. Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra) was everything it was on the album version: short and sweet.
Following a series of very wild songs, the ambient, evocative and emotional Wetsuit displayed the adaptability of the band, and was done justice, allowing both the crowd and the group a breather while they let the lyrics and melody melt over them. Teenage Icon immediately lifted moods around the room with its 50s’ inspired guitar riff and drumming. Justin’s vocals throughout the gig were top notch, most likely a result of his trusty bottle of water on stage – not the most rock’n’roll moment for the boys – but nonetheless a positive outcome.
Norgaard was the integral part of the outro, a sweeping charge of vocal melodies over pounding drums and snappy guitars. This is the sort of song you understand why the comparison with The Ramones is justified. Throughout the gig all the band members performed with heartiness and exuberance.
So, in response to their debut album’s rhetorical title (What Did You Expect from the Vaccines?) on observation one can expect a night of classic-rock sounds with modern day twists, rowdy stage antics that issue bursts of dynamic instrumentals and a feeling of wanting more from the rising stars known as The Vaccines.