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The Vaccines - Handsome

Ridiculously infectious and fun, ‘Handsome’ manages to perfectly fulfill what we really ‘expected from the Vaccines’ all those years ago.

It can’t be denied – ever since The Vaccines stumbled into view in 2011 amidst a mist of hype, they have been adamant that they are a pop band. The signs were certainly there - they clung onto the same three chords like a limpet that loves the Ramones a bit too much, and packed in more hooks than Ricky Hatton having a fist-fight with a fisherman. Yet, at the same time, they were all too easy to squeeze into the notorious ‘guitar band’ category; they were six-strung saviours ready to take on brostep and become indie sweethearts quicker than you can say ‘Alt-J’. Part of the reason it was so easy was that their music fitted in pretty damn well – their first LP had a punk edge, while ‘Come of Age’ contained grungy, alt-rock tunes like ‘Weirdo’ and ‘Ghost Town’.

Their ‘Melody Calling’ EP, released in 2013, changed everything. The Beach-Boys via George Harrison vibe and general sunniness was like a Pop Tart: poppy, and bloody delectable. Around the same time came the revelation that Justin Young had worked with One Direction on new material. Now, their self-defined peppiness has really come to the forefront with ‘Handsome’. Centred around a stylish Hong-Kong Kung-Fu cinema aesthetic, it’s all about Phoenix-y guitar hooks and bopping drums lifted from the most recent Strokes stuff. It’s not only ridiculously infectious and fun, but also manages to perfectly fulfill what we really ‘expected from the Vaccines’ all those years ago: making their third album a handsome prospect indeed.

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Tags: The Vaccines, Reviews, Listen

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