Following the success of their debut album in 2010, English indie rockers The Vaccines released their sophomore album “Come of Age” on Oct. 2. With their latest set of 11 songs, the band has adopted a slightly heavier, Ramones-inspired sound that deviates from their previous poppy anthems.
Frontman Justin Young’s somewhat weaker vocals, undoubtedly stemming from his three throat operations last year, do not harshly compromise the quality of the songs. It seems to have caused him to develop a new vocal technique in which he sings in a strange shaky vibrato during a few lines throughout the album.
The opening track, “No Hope,” immediately establishes a stimulating mood for the entire album, featuring an upbeat tempo that encourages head bobbing and air drumming. The chorus resounds, “Cause when you’re young and bored and 24 / And you don’t know who you are no more / There’s no hope / And it’s hard to come of age,” which are words that may very well relate to non-24-year-olds.
The album contains a brief mellow moment toward the middle with my personal favorites, “Aftershave Ocean” and “Weirdo.” The former begins with an amazing guitar riff and soon transitions into surprisingly softer vocals and a hummable melody. Without a doubt, this song induces swaying action and will be blasting constantly from my speakers for the next few weeks. “Weirdo” immediately brought Radiohead’s “Creep” to mind, with self-awareness as a major theme.
Unfortunately, not all the songs captivated my eardrums. “Bad Mood” lacks memorability, and quite frankly, that is all I remember about it. Meanwhile, the band’s theatrical approach to “Ghost Town” floundered and would be much better suited on a Halloween party mix CD in a discount bin.
Young’s raw voice reaches its full potential in “All in Vain.” Full of bitter lyrics directed toward a past companion, this song might attract those who want to express their anger toward an ex without flipping a middle finger.
The Vaccines possess the ability to liven up nearly any environment with their energetic tunes. If their consistently stimulating guitar riffs and catchy choruses on “Come of Age” act as sign, the band will certainly continue to rise in the rock industry and have the potential to outlast countless albums of their peers.