The Vaccines dabble in needling synths, sensual, shimmering hooks and new grooves on third effort English Graffiti.
Already masters of the infectious song, the English foursome are taking their penchant to another level. Blanketing them in tasteful synths and heavy layers, their once easy, boisterous songs are given a dark new elegance.
A velvet languidness rules on “(All Afternoon) In Love”, “Want You So Bad” and“Maybe I Could Hold You”. The achingly tired tracks seem to simmer in their own sound, soaking in reverb and shaky swaths of guitar chords.
Even without synths for atmosphere, simple tenderness bleeds through-title track “English Graffiti” is pretty, pop, and oh-so-perfect. As with “Weirdo”, it gives us a quiet taste of Justin Hayward-Young that leaves us wanting more.
In contrast (and, perhaps, tradition) stands the breakneck hyperactivity of songs like “Radio Bikini” and “20/20”, which seems generously influenced by Vampire Weekend (“Diane Young” dupe, anyone?).
But increasingly, the Vaccines stretch for-and achieve-originality. “Dream Lover” pairs a plunging, gothy guitar riff with a hauntingly beautiful chorus for a Growlers-meets-fifties-prom effect.“Miracle” closes off the album with fuzzy throbbing and and a sharp rhythm that lingers to dance instead of racing past.
Looks like the Vaccines are ready to do the same.