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The Vaccines

The Vaccines es una banda británica formada en Londres el año 2010. La banda está compuesta por Justin Young en la voz y  la guitarra, Freddie Cowan a la guitarra, el islandés Arni Arnason al bajo y Pete Robertson en la batería. “What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?” fue su álbum debut  con el que rápidamente alcanzaron el disco de platino. Sólo 18 meses después le siguió su segundo álbum “Come Of Age”.

Su creciente popularidad les ha llevado por todo el mundo, tocando y experimentando el sueño pop “más allá de lo que nunca imaginamos”. Sin embargo, su confianza y espíritu autocrítico propio de su juventud les hace sentir insatisfechos “A menudo hemos sentido que éramos una buena banda pero no una importante”, añade “y nosotros queremos ser una banda importante”.

En el último disco de The Vaccines, “English Graffiti”, la banda rompe en mil pedazos los planes y se ve qué sucede alrededor de ellos. Aunque algunos elementos sonoros de los antiguos Vaccines se mantienen, especialmente en los momentos punteros más pop de canciones como “Handsome”, “20/20” y “Radio Bikini”; emergen una mezcla de sonidos eclécticos y aventureros que nos recuerdan al pop de los ochenta.
English Graffiti es como un “éxodo masivo”, dice Young:

“Por momentos, haciendo este álbum, me sentía como si estuviera en una banda diferente. Todas estas influencias desde Buddy Holly a The Clash, tienden a estar presentes en nosotros, pero cuando estábamos juntos, no mirábamos hacia atrás sino hacia adelante. En las primeras grabaciones, puede que hubiéramos intentado reproducir algunos de esos sonidos de guitarra, pero esta vez pensamos ¿Por qué no intentarlo e ir a por un sonido del futuro en su lugar?”.

Al igual que la modernidad, temas más distópicos emergen durante el álbum, especialmente en canciones como “Minimal Affection” y “Want You So bad”. Canciones como “(All Afternoon) In Love” probablemente desconcertarán a la gente que pensó que sabían lo que había que esperar de “The Vaccines”, transmitiendo un pop sobrenatural y melancólico. Young destaca:

“Todo lo que hemos hecho y logrado ha estado por encima de todo lo que hubiéramos esperado, pero creo que somos una gran banda y que “English Graffiti” es un gran álbum. Al final, la buena música triunfa. Estoy totalmente orgulloso de ello".

Emerging in the summer of 2010 with blend of retro surf punk, Ramones guitars and Everly Brothers pop hooks, The Vaccines’ high octane, ultra-melodic sound had an instant impact. The London four-piece – Justin Hayward-Young (vocals/guitar), Freddie Cowan (guitar), Arni Arnason (bass) and Pete Robertson (drums) had only formed in early 2010, but in early 2011, debut album ‘What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?’ quickly achieved platinum status. Just 18 months later, the follow-up, ‘Come Of Age’, hit Number One. 

The band’s popularity has taken them across the world, playing arenas and experiencing the pop dream “way beyond what we ever imagined.” However, the ever confident but self-critical Young felt unfulfilled.

“We’ve often felt that we were a good band but not an important band,” he says, “and we want to be an important band.”

The Vaccines’ third album, ‘English Graffiti’, saw the band tear up the plans and see what happens as they fall around them. Whilst elements of the old Vaccines’ sound remained – certainly in the pop rushes of ‘Handsome’, ‘20/20’ and ‘Radio Bikini’, an eclectic and adventurous musical mix that acknowledges the Eighties had emerged.

“English Graffiti feels like a massive departure,” says Young; 

“At times, making this record, I felt I was in a different band. All these 
influences from Buddy Holly to the Clash often get laid on us, but when 
they were around, they weren’t looking backward, they were looking 
forward. On the first records, we may have tried to replicate some of 
those guitar sounds, but this time we thought ‘Why not try and go for 
a sound that’s from the future instead?”

The album has an otherworldly atmosphere and a very postmodern theme of internet/ social media-driven connection, but ultimately dislocation.

“…technology can connect us with whoever we want to be connected to. 
We have constructed realities, but in the meantime being connected has 
brought disconnection in lack of friendship and feeling and love. We’re 
the first generation going through this. I was sat at a table the other day 
and every one of us was on our phones and it felt like we were in the 
future.”

These sort of dystopian themes emerge particularly on songs such as ‘Minimal Affection’ and ‘Want You So Bad’. Songs such as ‘(All Afternoon) In Love’ may particularly throw people who thought they knew what to expect from The Vaccines; it’s otherworldly, gossamer, melancholy pop. Young notes;

“I remember writing those songs on the first record thinking they were 
good enough to headline the Barfly with,” he chuckles. 

“Everything we’ve done and achieved has been so above everything we 
ever expected, but I do think we’re a great band and that ‘English Graffiti’ 
is a great record. Good music triumphs in the end. I’m immensely 
proud of it.”

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