Rave’s Fave: The Vaccines – Handsome


Welcome back to a band we’ve been following since before their initial US release. After a highly prolific few years that spawned two albums, an EP, and several one-off singles, they took awhile to come up with this return. “Handsome” is a driving pop tune in that familiar Vaccines vein, but with more production in general and a more modern approach. Singer Justin Young says it took him a mere hour to write this song. He had fun writing it and you’ll have fun hearing it. Look for their English Graffiti album to drop later this year. There’s no word on a specific date as of yet.

Hear Bruce’s “Go Deep With Bruce Rave” weekly new music show on Indie1031/Los Angeles, KX 93.5-FM/Laguna Beach, and WSUM-FM/Madison. Details and archived shows can be found on his blog and be sure to follow Bruce on Twitter too!

The Vaccines (Official)

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RAVE’S FAVE: The Vaccines – Everybody’s Gonna Let You Down

vaccines melody calling

The Vaccines’ first album was titled What Do You Expect From the Vaccines. Years later and two new tracks from their upcoming Melody Calling EP, things appear to be nothing at all what we’d expect. Those ace melodies are still calling, but the delivery is much softer. While the title track on Melody Calling is getting most of the attention so far, “Everybody’s Gonna Let You Down” to me is one of their best-written songs to date. Singer Justin Young has talked about how the band’s success hasn’t changed much in terms of his mental outlook on things. Here he sings, “I just burn all night, it’s a lonely life. A lonely ride.” By Bruce Rave

The Vaccines – Everybody’s Gonna Let You Down

The Vaccines (Official)

* Links and playlists from Rave’s weekly new music show can be found on his blog and be sure follow Bruce on Twitter too!

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Review: The Vaccines w/ San Cisco Live @ The Fonda in Los Angeles, CA.


If you like The Vaccines… even a little bit, then you should make a point to see them live. It’s surprising that the band haven’t gotten much US radio support, and like so many other succesful acts in the UK, their stateside ascendency hasn’t happened nearly at the same rate. The Vaccines’ recently performed for a sold-out crowd of 1,200 excited fans at the Henry Fonda Musicbox in Los Angeles on Thursday night this past Valentines Day. What the band has lacked in airplay, they clearly make up for with fans and sizzling live shows.

The Vaccines perform with power, and they play fast. They were originally labeled an indie band but they have said they’d rather be considered a rock group. That’s exactly what they acted like that night at the Henry Fonda. Freddie Cowan’s guitar playing shined that night, especially on the second encore track “Bad Mood”. Vocalist and guitar player Justin Young proved a strong, confident front man. The band’s set focused mostly on their two albums, without touching on the individual singles that were released in-between. Fan favorites “Post Breakup Sex” and “If You Wanna” from the first album closed the main set, receiving the best initial reactions. The girls especially took kindly to the band with many in rows in front singing along, and forcing the mosh pit to the back of the floor. Even those in the balcony were dancing up a storm. It seemed that even the band’s mid-tempo songs were played at a faster tempo that night, all except for the popular ballad “Wetsuit”.

Earlier in the evening, Australian collective San Cisco made a strong impression by more than holding their own as the evening’s middle support band. Their song “Awkward” was a hit in the land down under and was familiar to many in the LA crowd that night. “Rocket Ship” and a new song called “Fred Astaire” were also highlights. San Cisco is on the rise and will return to LA for in April for a headlining gig at The Troubadour. They will also be at SXSW. By Bruce Rave

The Vaccines (Official)

* Links and playlists from Rave’s weekly new music show can be found on his blog and be sure follow Bruce on Twitter too!

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RAVE’S FAVE: The Vaccines – Bad Mood

Come Of Age is a perfect title for The Vaccines forthcoming album. The band promised us a true evolution on the follow-up to their debut album that we truly loved. Long time B3SCI readers might remember that we were among the band’s original US supporters. When Mike from B3SCI and I caught them at The Satellite in LA during their first tour in America, prior to their UK album release, he turned to me and said they were really good, but wondered if they could nail the follow-up. They did by a longshot! ‘Coming of age’ can mean becoming boring, but not here. The Vaccines still sound like The Vaccines, but there is more variety this time. I’ve already posted their awesome “Teenage Icon” single, and there are many good choices on the album worthy of “fave” status. I’m going with “Bad Mood”, which is one of the harder tracks. It smokes, and features some of the hottest guitar we’ve heard from Freddie Cowan. B3SSCI will again be joining me when they play at the sold-out Troubadour here in LA next month. The band used to play short sets because they didn’t have enough songs. Now they can play originals for an hour and have all winners. By Bruce Rave

The Vaccines – Bad Mood

The Vaccines (Official)

*Check out Bruce’s Moheak Radio “Go Deep” show on Sunday nights 7-9 pm Pacific, 10-12 am Eastern, 3-5 am GMT. Also listen to past shows at Bruce’s blog and follow Bruce on Twitter.

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RAVE’S FAVE: The Vaccines – Teenage Icon

They promised us a different album this time around. The title of their new album will be Come of Age and you can hear it. The fast drum intro hits you right away, and then comes that signature 50’s riff. Justin sings “I’m no teenage icon, I’m no Frankie Avalon.” The first song we heard from Come of Age was the surprisingly Dylan-esque “No Hope”, and now this killer. I’ve got heaps of hope for what the rest of the album will sound like. By Bruce Rave

The Vaccines – Teenage Icon

The Vaccines (Facebook)

*Check out Bruce’s Moheak Radio “Go Deep” show on Sunday nights 7-9 pm Pacific, 10-12 am Eastern, 3-5 am GMT. Also listen to past shows at Bruce’s blog and follow Bruce on Twitter.

Rating 9.3

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The Vaccines – Why Should I Love You (R. Stevie Moore Cover)


The Vaccines lads take on R Stevie Moore’s classic “Why Should I Love You” as part of their limited edition Record Store Day split 7″ release on April 21. There will only be 500 copies of this one pressed so it’s probably best to start standing in line at your favorite record store around… now.

The Vaccines england (Official) (Facebook)

Rating 8.5


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The Vaccines – Tiger Blood


“Tiger Blood” is the latest from b3sci favs The Vaccines. The track, which was produced by The Strokes Albert Hammond Jr, will be the b-side to the band’s upcoming “Wetsuit”, due December 4th. Be a dude and sample the jangly “Tiger Blood” below.

The Vaccines – Tiger Blood

The Vaccines england (Official) (Facebook)

Rating 8.3


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RAVE’S FAVES: The Vaccines – Wetsuit


Contributed by Bruce Rave

The B3Sci gang and I had a great time hanging with The Vaccines after they wrapped one of their many SXSW sets. I’ll be running a 30-minute interview special around 2:00 Pacific time on my Friday Go Deep show at Moheak Radio. Drummer Pete was telling us about how “Wetsuit” is his favorite Vaccines song as it relates what the band was going through when they first formed. It’s a change of pace compared to most fast-moving Vaccines tracks, but it’s another fine pop melody in full force.

The Vaccines – Wetsuit

Catch Bruce on Moheak Radio Fridays 1-3pm PST

The Vaccines: (Info) (Pre-order What Did You Expect…)

Rating: 8.7

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The Vaccines – Wolf Pack


You know you’re listening to a great pop song when you can even look-forward to the bridge. Needless to say, we’ve been spending some quality time with The Vaccines forthcoming debut, What Did You Expect from The Vaccines? And one thing’s for sure, we’ll be jamming to “Wolf Pack” all this weekend.

The Vaccines – Wolf Pack

The Vaccines: (Info) (Pre-order What Did You Expect…)

Rating: 8.6

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SXSW Thursday Afternoon Wrap 03/17/11: Raphael Saadiq, The Vaccines, Foster the People, Cults


We arrived during Cults set, and caught a band often too overlooked on last year’s ‘best of’ lists. But not by everybody, “Go Outside” was recently re-released through Columbia. Judging by their set, and if we were gamblers (and a gentleman never tells), we’d bet pretty handsomely that you’ll be seeing a lot more action from Cults in 2011.

Cults – Go Outside


The Vaccines set was full of energy, fast-paced, and over before you knew what had happened. It says a lot when a band with a set full of short-running songs can so captivate their public (their first single runs only 1:24 long). With catchy hooks and melodies on songs like “Blow Up” and “If You Wanna”, they impressed a courtyard of eager listeners. “Wreckin’ Bar” killed. “Post Break Up Sex” had us popping around. The set was kinetic and fun. Pay attention, kids, cause The Vaccines are definitely a band to watch out for in 2011. And stay tuned for an exclusive b3sci interview with the band backstage after their set. And yes, the interview is about 50% talk about penises. C’mon what did you expect?

The Vaccines – Norgaard


Foster The People again played to make some noise. That’s sick set #2 we’d caught from them. 2-0, boys. Read about sick set #1 here.


If you know b3sci then you know that we are BIG fans of Raphael Saadiq, so suffice to say we were pretty excited to see his set next. We’d missed him at Stubb’s the night prior but left the performance at Cedar Street impressed nonetheless. Strongly rooted in jazz, blues, and R&B, Saadiq gave a performance that was funky and full of soul, mixing influences from greats like Chuck Berry and James Brown. Saadiq’s band was great. Consisting of a drummer, a bassist, two guitarists, a keyboardist, and two excellent backup singers, the Saadiq band provided a proper foundation for his sound. The pocket was tight, the harmonies were on point, and the vibe was right. Material wise, we heard a collection of new tracks from Saadiq’s forthcoming studio album, Stone Rollin’. What we heard was really really good. More of that 70’s soul inspired sound we’ve heard in singles “Good Man” and “Radio” with big beats and huge hooks.

Raphael Saadiq – Good Man

Catch all of b3sci’s SXSW 2011 coverage HERE

Photography contributed by Genevieve Sheehan

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The Vaccines, Live @ Spaceland, Los Angeles 01/25/11


The energy at The Spaceland was palpable last night for the West Coast debut of the next great U.K. guitar band, The Vaccines. However, there were two L.A. Bands opening for them, upon whom I must touch before turning my attention to the main draw.

Bixby Knolls play heavy, conscious guitar pop. They seem to have a faithful coterie of followers who were quite familiar with their songs. Their lead singer plays with a confident nonchalance while emotionally interacting with the crowd through the music, a prerequisite for any successful frontman. Their sound is of the UK rock tradition, a mélange of The Clash, The La’s and Echo and the Bunnymen. While they might not reinvent the wheel, there’s definitely a good bit of traction on their musical tires!

After a brief intermission of less than twenty minutes, Sweaters took the stage. I would technically call them a four piece, although there was a fifth member who participated on most of the songs, mostly banging away at the tambourine and sprinkling in some Saxophone at times. The lead singer plays the keys, with the bassist doing a strong back-up vocal, along with a guitarist and drummer. They have a raucousness which is representative of the best Rock. They’re unconcerned with derivation or with being sandwiched into the subgenre of the month. My main gripe is that the singer lacked the stage presence of the Bixby Knolls frontman.

Sweaters have fun on stage. A lot of fun on stage. This cannot be stressed enough. In an ‘indie’ scene which came to be defined in the 2000’s by the minor key, it’s so refreshing to hear joyous pop/rock music in whatever incarnation that may be. They also have a comfort with the technical aspects of playing which leads me to believe that more than one member has a background in Classical Music.

Sonically, they’re all over the place, which I think is a good thing in this instance. Their singer sounds a little too much like David Byrne, but hey, who doesn’t these days? They’ve got everything from Todd Rungren to Warren Zevon to The Modern Lovers to The Doobie Brothers lumped within their sound. Essentially, the keyboard, which was turned WAY UP, sets a foundation for their sound in the popular 1970’s vein. This homage, this sense of nostalgia, is probably their greatest strength and their most glaring weakness, as I can’t quite say that they’ve amalgamated their sounds into one cohesive style all their own. Will they be representative of Matisse before or after 1905? Youth is wasted on the young, and also on the next great band, which is why a band like The Vaccines coming together makes for such a magical, ineffable experience.

At least one A-list celeb (A-minus in the eyes of some) was in the audience last night! It wouldn’t be a sold out show in Los Angeles without at least one familiar face. Creativity breeds creativity. The intellectually curious artist will make it a point to search out the cutting edge across various modes of expression.

Nobody moved as Sweaters left the stage. None of that usual dispersal toward bathrooms, bar-counters and cigarettes. The anticipation continued to build as the mics were tested. It was clear to me that this wasn’t a concert in Kansas City or (dare I say) my hometown of Cleveland. The jaded L.A. crowd has seen, heard, and done everything — their expectations were through the roof for a show with unrelenting consistency. The audience was littered with stoic Industry faces, betting the under on the length of The Vaccines’ set, which the bookmakers had probably pegged at 27 minutes!

The Vaccines take the stage around 11:05. Confident with the sound levels, they blast immediately into their first hit, ‘Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’. Lead singer Justin Young, stripped of guitar on the 85 second cut, commands the stage, both playful and serious, toeing the line which separates gimmickry from insouciance. He dons his guitar for the second song and almost the entirety of the rest of the set. He’s especially confident and competent playing rhythm while singing. I hear fleeting snippets of The Ramones and The Beach Boys in their sound. They have the same lack of pretention as on ‘Please Please Me’ (is it sacrilege to say that?)

NME has proven over the decades a priceless ability to peer into that crystal ball of theirs and predict the future of UK Rock n’ Roll. The Vaccines is the band Interpol could’ve been had Turn On The Bright Lights been released in 1998 and they weren’t so indebted to Joy Division and The Bunnymen. For a band that’s only been together one year, The Vaccines’ continuity and vision is incredible. Even the cool crowd had let down their guard by the end of the first song. Will this be the band to break the current American prejudice toward UK guitar bands? The specialness of the night isn’t lost on the four-piece from London, for this may have been their first time on the West Coast, flying into LAX and seeing the endless Pacific. If that’s not inspiring for an artist, I don’t know what is.

‘Post Break-Up Sex’ is their paradigmatic song, I would say. It was played early in the set. For the self-mockery of the title, the sound is serious. The lyrics are emotional and intellectual. They’re not dripping with metaphor but produce highly specialized images. The same can be said for ‘Blow It Up’, which draws the quickest link to The Beatles of ’63 and ’64, but also discloses a little Replacements and even Roy Orbison on a strain of their musical genome.

I hear the Jesus and Mary Chain comparisons on ‘If You Wanna’, which was the fifth or sixth song of the set. There’s a touch of ‘Taste of Cindy’ and ‘Happy When It Rains’ in there, but again the influences are pushed to the background. The Vaccines sound like The Vaccines. They switch up their sound without pastiche or derivation, something Sweaters attempted in vain. ‘If U Wanna’ has a singalong quality by the second or third listen. They’re not as camp as The Arctic Monkeys, and not as repetitive as Franz Ferdinand, but I can’t comment authoritatively, since I’ve only seen Franz Ferdinand in a large venue, not a hotspot as intimate as The Spaceland.

The Vaccines closed their set with a cover of The Standells’ ‘Good Guys Don’t Wear White’, followed by another less than two minute track, ‘Noorgard’. In total, they played for about 35 mintues, covering the spread. They warned us in advance that they wouldn’t play an encore, but I was left wanting more regardless. I think the Vaccines are approaching the game like businessmen. They lack ego and hubris in their interviews. There’s a hunger and drive to their playing — they won’t rest on the buzz surrounding their debut, What Did You Expect From The Vaccines, slated for release on March 21st through Columbia Records, for which I shall wait with bated breath. Tell your friends and your frenemies: THIS IS THE BAND TO WATCH!!!

RATING: 9.728

Contributed by Chris Gedos

The Vaccines – We’re Happening

The Vaccines – Blow It Up





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The Vaccines – Post Break Up Sex / Wye Oak – Civilian / Duran Duran – All You Need Is Now (Prod. Mark Ronson)


Here at b3sci HQ, we had such an overload of solid jams today, we were at a loss as to what to feature. So we said, fuck it, we’ll just throw it all up. So here goes the rock mix. New tracks from The Vaccines (An excellent follow up to first single “Wreckin’ Bar”), Wye Oak (Andy Stack’s hushed kick drumming is the best compliment to Jenn Wasner’s subtle golden tones), and Duran Duran (A strong return on this Mark Ronson produced stomper). Enjoy.

The Vaccines – Post Break Up Sex
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Wye Oak – Civilian via stereogum
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Duran Duran – “All You Need Is Now” (Produced By Mark Ronson)
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