Steve Wilson. On music.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Vaccines - What Did You Expect From the Vaccines? (Columbia)


The Vaccines life changing qualities were hyped in the NME (New Musical Express), the British rock rag especially inclined to such raves. I think their writer said something about the Vaccines being the ‘next great guitar band,’ as if he could necessarily name the last one. Of course Mr. Brit-crit may soon turn on the Vaccines like a scorned lover; that’s pretty standard operating procedure among his breed. But, I thank him nevertheless for the tip. Sure I’ve been led down the garden path to this week’s band of the decade a few too many times, but it’s also where I first heard of the Libertines. So, you take the pointless detours along with the grand discoveries.

I downloaded all the free junk I could by the Vaccines. It was good enough to establish a qualified enthusiasm for hearing their, as yet at that point, unreleased debut What Did You Expect from the Vaccines?. Despite first impressions that confirmed certain indie-guitar band-by-the-numbers expectations (borrow from cool, iconic sources, and then do no harm), I quickly became convinced that the Vaccines are more than a superficial, formal pleasure.