Back In Love City

The Vaccines

Awal Recordings, 2021

http://www.thevaccines.co.uk

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/10/2022

An English indie-rock outfit who have been at it since 2010, though I had never heard of The Vaccines before spinning Back In Love City, they'll certainly be on consistent rotation now. A band who embrace ideas from the early days of punk, as well as the garage rock revival and even some New Wave nods, this concept album about a fictional city has The Vaccines putting on a display of diverse and exciting song craft.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The title track starts the listen with a thumping and stylish delivery of swirling melodies and catchy choruses in a glam-pop sort of way, and “Alone Star” continues this energy with plenty of grit and tunefulness guiding the horn friendly landscape.

Later on, Side A offers the initially calmer, even soulful “Paranormal Romance”, which builds into swift drumming and a dreamy climate of buzzing melodies, while “Jump Off The Top” is a scrappy rocker that tips it hat to pop in a way that will get you on the dance floor.

Side B doesn't waste anytime making an impression either, where “XCT” opens with a blistering, anthemic indie-rocker that's quite experimental, too, and “Bandit” recruits some post-punk ideas that wouldn't be out of place on a mixtape with New Order.

Advancing towards the end, the thick guitar riffs and bright synth of “Savage” make this one of the record's best, though “Heart Land” is a close second with its breezy, folk-like haze. “Pink Water Pistols” then exits the listen with synthetic drumming, a bit of ambience and a whole lot of creativity.

This is the fifth album from The Vaccines, and though the tone and mood of the songs varies from track to track, the quality of the songwriting is consistently high. I have no idea what the previous four albums sound like, but I plan on finding out very soon.

Rating: B

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