3/5 Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, The Vaccines haven’t grown up. As ‘No Hope’, the opening track of their second album, states: ‘It’s time to come of age, I think it’s a problem… but there’s no hope.’ The band’s visceral style still captures all the get-go of adolescence, but Justin Young isn’t grunting choruses like a grumpy teenager any more. His vocal delivery has become softer and higher-pitched and there are choppy ’50s rock ’n’ roll riffs scattered in among their usual faster-is-better guitar playing. It might not be a more serious sound, but it is a more considered one. Where their previous material aped a hurried jam session, this record takes its time – the majority of the tracks actually pass the three-minute mark.
When The Vaccines emerged in 2010 with the non sequiturs of angsty single ‘Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’ it was hard to say how long the London foursome could continue down the juvenile rock route. Come of Age shows that, with a dip into the retro songbook, they can keep the bandwagon rolling in an entertaining, if unexceptional, way.