The Vaccines

What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? is the debut album from The Vaccines. Eleven songs, eleven tones of excitement recorded "quickly and painlessly" in just under a month in London late last year at the hands of producer Dan Grech.

It's a record that favours 'the song' over all other disciplines. It's best articulated in one of the record's shortest (and most dizzy) tunes, If You Wanna.

"That song was the turning point," explains Justin Young, lead singer of The Vaccines. "It crystallized what we were and where we were going. What followed was a process of shaving the songs down to their very essence".

If You Wanna cuts through with a sharp simplicity, so much so that the demo version the band put online in the summer of 2010 was rapidly noticed. It was a starting point for the band -- Freddie Cowan (guitar), Arni Arnason (bass) and Pete Robertson (drums) who, alongside Justin finally kick-started The Vaccines in the spring of 2010 after a fair few months of rehearsals honing their sound.

"We never set out with any sort of mission statement, but when we first started playing we quickly realised that through our shared love of the 'perfect pop song' there was a real bond, we all felt really invigorated and excited by the music we were making," says Justin. "If there was ever any quest, it was to create direct pop music with depth and emotion, the sort of stuff that the Moderns Lovers, The Velvet Underground and The Clash made sound so easy."

"A lot of the arrangements were much more complicated when the songs were conceived," adds Justin. "But we got to a point where we were confident to just strip everything away. Being that direct seemed to carry so much more emotion."

As Justin says: "some of The Vaccines songs sound simple, but making them sound like that is one of the most difficult things of all to do."

Consider the minute and half squeal of Nørgaard or debut single '
Wreckin Bar (Ra Ra Ra), songs that perfectly showcase the kick-and-rush-riffarama of The Vaccines' default setting. They're much like modern lullabies, songs that wiggle their way into your consciousness and won't let go.

Or the stuttering Wolf Pack or the bubblegum romance of Under Your Thumb; confident, headstrong songs that are testament to the young songwriter's almost veteran status having written his first song aged eleven ("about girls and stuff, things I didn't really understand") and spent his teenage years in a variety of bands.

Yet The Vaccines debut isn't just Ramones punch and Jesus and Mary Chain swagger. Blow It Up is all woozy eyed atmospherics, evocative on record as it was at its first London outing last October, at the bands Flowerpot show in London. Then there's Wetsuit, more modern hymn than pop song, Freddie's guitar coaxing rich colour out of the skeletal verse and big, brave choruses. "I'm always been more into sound than songs," says the guitarist, younger brother of The Horrors' Tom. "That's what I bring to the band -- texture".

"My favourite song on the record is Family Friend" says Arni of the record's closing opus (in that at five, it's a rare venture over the three minute mark). "I think it wraps the record up nicely, Justin's lyrics are beautiful, but it ends the record on a question mark. Sort of like, this is what we do... but this is what we might do next."

"I want people to love the record like we do," says Justin of this band's debut, "but I want them to be as excited as I am about where The Vaccines go next too. I want them to join here and let us take them somewhere else. I'm excited about the next lot of songs I know I've got in me. I'm excited about what comes next."

What did you expect from The Vaccines? Excitement, thrills, melody, power, romance? You'll find all contained within their debut. Yet perhaps the most exciting thing is that its contents signpost the next dose you can expect next from its creators. Much like their name, 'What Did You Expect Of The Vaccines' is a statement of intent, that much is for sure...

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The Vaccines

Friday, August 2 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 8:30 PM at Union Transfer