The Vaccines brand of rock ‘n’ pop has recently been conjuring comparisons to The Strokes but that is both a little obvious and not quite hitting the target. Like most bands that have a quest for timelessness in their music; they are roller coasters that shift left when you think right and ultimately bring excitement to both the peaks and valleys.
In the past they were using a bit of 60’s pop music reminiscent of the early hits of the Kinks, but with English Graffiti they seemed to have filtered it through the 80’s synth pop. “Dream Lover” is a hybrid of Brit-Pop that has more Duran Duran than Oasis in the sound. Then they get you thinking that they will let the good times roll with “20/20” which crosses the Kaiser Chiefs with Motion City Soundtrack.
With energy levels about to go through the roof they abandon it all for a Moody Blues moment in “(All Afternoon) In Love” and later in “I Want You So Bad.”
Lyrically they are pretty quick to turn a phrase and go for the biting one liner, rather than look for a character to drive the story. Album opener “Handsome” provides a pretty good case in point as they drop the line “you think that you look good in whatever they sugarcoat you in.” The song is all sarcasm and snot with a big F.U. to whomever is trying to sell bullshit for image.
The real point The Vaccines make more than any other is that they want to keep rockin’. English Graffiti isn’t life altering or earth shattering it’s just a fun rock ‘n’ roll record that you play on your way to the amusement park… and really, what more can you ask for.