Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
A Lack Of Understanding
Review of The Vaccines’ What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?
Leon DiaperLondon’s Vaccines were really asking for it with the title of their debut album, What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?, what with it sounding like equal parts challenge and excuse. For my part, I didn’t expect a hell of a lot. You see, as Anglophile as I am, I’m also hella suspicious of acts that arrive on a tidal wave of hype as I’ve owned too many CDs from British guitar bands that proved to have very little shelf life. And given The Vaccines arrived with a well-orchestrated, a major label-funded buzz blitz, I assumed they’d be all hat, no cattle.
Well I’ve been wrong before and I’ll be wrong again. Rather than lose my interest with each listen, time spent with What Did You Expect‘s brief running time only made me want to hit repeat. They don’t pretend to be anything more than what they are, which is to say a quartet of kids playing rock music, but it’s uncanny the way they manage to evoke the best of British rock from over the last decade – the meat-and-potatoes simplicity of Arctic Monkeys, the scrappy snottiness of The Libertines, the open-hearted romanticism of Bloc Party – without actually sounding like any of them. Most key, however, is the fact that they’re able to write songs that are anthemic in scope yet punkish in packaging and catchy enough to warrant praise entirely on their own creative merits – “All In White” is downright stirring. It may well be that they’re just the next British guitar band of the moment, but it’s The Vaccines’ moment and they’re making the most of it.
And while this would normally be the point in the post where I tell you that The Vaccines are coming to town soon, an announcement yesterday actually instead pulled their entire Fall tour, including the September 27 date at The Phoenix – Justin Hayward-Young will need surgery on his throat for the third time this year, and doctor’s orders do not include gallivanting around the globe singing rock music. While I wasn’t going to be hitting that particular show, I was looking forward to seeing that at Iceland Airwaves in October and that show is also scotched. Here’s hoping Hayward-Young’s recovery is quick and the make-up date is a convenient one.
The Telegraph has an interview with Elbow frontman Guy Garvey. They’re at The Sound Academy on September 28 and the video of a session from this past Spring in the crypt at London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral is available to stream for the next week at Absolute Radio.
The Gallagher brothers’ ongoing duel of one-upmanship has spilled over into their North American touring itinerary. Noel Gallagher has announced the first Stateside live dates in support of his solo debut Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, out November 8, and though it’s limited to major markets as the first Beady Eye jaunt was, it’s much more ambitious in scope. For example, while Beady Eye were able to fill if not quite sell out the Sound Academy back in June, Noel has booked not one but two nights at Massey Hall to open up the tour on November 7 and 8 – tickets $39.50 and $99.50 plus fees, on sale on September 9 at 10AM. Now I know that Oasis fans are devoted and Noel has said he’d play material from said band live, but still – that’s kind of… well that’s a lot of tickets to expect to sell. That’s all. Anyways, NME has another new song from the debut album available to stream.
If anyone was wondering – as I was – if there was going to be a way to get hands on a vinyl copy of I Break Horses’ gorgeous debut Hearts on vinyl in Canada without paying crazy import prices, take, um, heart – apparently there is an October 18 street date for physical editions of the record.
DIY reports that Sweden’s Those Dancing Days have decided to go on hiatus to tend to things IRL for a while. This is disappointing as they were one of the bands who had to pull out of SXSW this year due to visa snafus and I was hoping they’d make it up next year. Guess not.
Video: Iceage – “You’re Blessed”
Stream: M83 – “Intro”
The Jezabels have released a video to go with the first MP3 from Prisoner, out September 16 in their native Australia but not until next Spring over here. They’re at The Phoenix opening up for Hey Rosetta! on November 24 and possibly the just-announced second show on November 23; still waiting on confirmation of that.