The Vaccines have been a huge part of my musical taste since their first album ‘What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?’ in 2011. I generally place them as my introduction to the modern indie scene as a whole, so the news of a new album greatly excited me.
Since the debut in 2011, the band went on to release two more studio albums; ‘Come of Age’ in 2012 and ‘English Graffiti’ in 2015. ‘Come of Age’ is a beautiful continuation from the first album. More refined and a natural progression from its predecessor. It felt totally right in the timeline of The Vaccines. In 2015 the group released ‘English Graffiti’ which certainly felt different. Despite the odd track like ‘Handsome’ that felt like older material from the group, ‘English Graffiti’ was different. Not necessarily bad, however, it didn’t feel like a perfect fit for the band. The album fell a little flat and nothing stuck as much as had been expected. Still a brilliant album, just a little less good than the first two.
However now comes ‘Combat Sports’. With a slight change of lineup and several years off, the band are back in full force. ‘Combat Sports’ feels like what ‘English Graffiti’ was meant to be, pure unrivalled Vaccines.
It’s got nostalgic vibes of the band’s typical young angsty vibes with tracks like ‘I Can’t Quit’ and ‘Put it on a T-Shirt’. It’s got progressive vibes that come through with tracks like ‘Surfing in the Sky’ where it feels like The Vaccines older material that’s gone a step further and been improved vastly. It even does something The Vaccines don’t do enough but do with beautiful style; slow and melancholic. ‘Young American’ is a gorgeous example of this. Then there are tracks like ‘Nightclub’. ‘Nightclub’ is an absolutely stomping track of catchy riffs, fantastically paced lyrics, and overall one of the most fun tracks to come out in a while.
It’s albums like ‘Combat Sports’ which will stick in the hearts and minds of fans forever. Something changed. Fights in the band, changing of lineup, time away, and even writing music for other projects have allowed The Vaccines to come back on absolutely top form. ‘Combat Sports’ is a beautiful album, it brings The Vaccines back on top form and I’ve never wanted to buy an album so quickly.