A low hum reverberates through the Academy as an air of expectation flows around the room. Everyone wants to see if the hype surrounding the hotly tipped band is worthy, or, if those who have commenced the backlash are correct in their assessment of them as nothing new and a mere guilty pleasure.
The London four piece unassumingly take to the stage and break straight into ‘We‘re Happening’. The melodic, chugging guitar sound slowly awakens the crowd. These songs contain simplistic, lyrical gems which discuss the demise of a relationship and the futility of casual post break up sex. The band shine as each song flows rapidly into one another smoothly creating the ebbs and flows of a set which takes the audience on a wave of emotions from chanting along to ‘Post Break up Sex’ and ‘All in White’, to initiating a closeness and comradeship with some heartfelt relationship reflections in ‘Wetsuit’ and ‘A Lack of Understanding’. Culminating in a feverish release of pent up emotion and electrifying anthem chanting in ‘Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’ and ‘If You Wanna’.
Watching The Academy become a swirling pit of moshing bodies, electrified by the band’s music is what makes this band live as few virginal bands have the power to entice wreckless, fevered, moshing to pop rock tunes these days. Disappointingly at times lead singer Justin Young’s voice faltered making it difficult to fully appreciate the set, but the raw enthusiasm and passion of everyone who threw themselves into the gig certainly made up for it.
The Vaccines may not have invented a new sound per se but they have certainly tapped into the vibe of writing catchy songs which everyone can relate to. They appear to have been influenced by a majestic amount of bands. At times you feel you are listening to The Strokes or The Ramones, while songs like ‘Put A Wetsuit On’ displays striking similarities to The Courteeneers, Yet, other songs seem vaguely connected to the Weezer and Nirvana age of the ’90s with the drawn out rapid drum rolls and the guitar chiming stage exits.
Ignore this band at festivals this year to your peril as they will certainly leave a path of chanting, moshing revelers in their wake.
Photos by Luis Faustino.
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