The Vaccines haven’t ever looked like taking the key out of the ignition. From the demo of ‘If You Wanna’ spreading like cyberspace wildfire, to becoming the must-see band of the British festival season after the release of their anthemic, guitar-heavy, unbridled joy of a debut album, you’d be a fool if you were to suggest they haven’t been firing all balls blazing in their short two year existence. And now, with their not-so-long-awaited return, they’re gearing up for the release of forthcoming sophomore album, ‘Come of Age’ (set for September 3rd later this year), with the first official single, ‘No Hope’, marking a somewhat bold change in direction. But is this genre-shift completely necessary?
Sounding a bit like an early lo-fi Strokes track that never quite made the final cut at times, ‘No Hope’ feels like taking a few step backwards rather than “coming of age” – and this comes from a big fan of The Vaccines. Something seems to be simply missing, something intangible: is it Justin Young’s baritone and seemingly less-complacent vocals? The raw, effervescent guitar riffs that defined their debut (excusing that blistering opening)? Or is it just merely down to the different production style? Whatever it is, this track certainly lacks the in-your-face, blitzy, rougher rock ‘n’ roll ingredients we’ve come to expect from a Vaccines track. One can only hope it’s a grower, otherwise this could be another unwelcome case of rushed second album syndrome.