‘What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?’ (Columbia)
What did I expect from The Vaccines? Well, based on recent outpourings of gushing hyperbole, nothing less than a gold-plated CD containing sweet melodies that could cure the terminally ill, soothe a rampaging bull and turn Lindsay Lohan back into a virgin. What has landed on my doormat falls well short of that, but let’s not hold that against The Vaccines – remember that this is, when the fuss has died away, a debut album. And it’s an incredibly good one, too. Unless you’ve been locked in a dungeon under a pile of wistful ignorance, you’ve already heard the sun-drenched punk-pop of ‘Wreckin Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’ and the surfmelodies of ‘If You Wanna’. Yet, breath-takingly, the most welcome message delivered by ‘WDYEFTV?’ is that there’s plenty more juice in The Vaccines’ songwriting tank. ‘Blow It Up’ is a droning, grunge-tinged masterpiece, while ‘Wetsuit’ is undoubtedly the greatest song ever written about a piece of scuba-diving equipment. ‘What Did You Expect…’ casts a merry jig through infl uences from The Strokes-esque ‘Lack Of Understanding’ to the 50s high school romance of ‘Nørgaard’, all velcroed together by Justin Young’s soothing, reverberating vocals. It’s youthful, ambitious and mesmerisingly catchy. But then, what else did you expect from The Vaccines?