March 25, 2022

The Vaccines - Combat Sports (2018)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Indie Rock
Label Number: 19075804822

© 2018 Columbia
The Vaccines got trashy on English Graffiti, the 2015 album that found the British band finally not putting too much stock into tradition. Such irreverence was fun while it lasted. English Graffiti didn't wear well on the road and the group was still shedding members, resulting in a new rhythm section anchoring 2018's Combat Sports along with touring keyboardist Timothy Lanham. Here, guitarists Justin Young and Freddie Cowan steer the Vaccines back toward seriousness without entirely losing the flashy flair that distinguished English GraffitiCombat Sports is best when it trades upon such retro obsessions as new wave and disco -- in particular, "Your Love Is My Favourite Band" feels like an AOR artifact from the days prior to MTV -- and it's less successful when it returns to the neo-rock obsessions that have been the group's stock in trade since their inception. Since the group yo-yos between these two aesthetics, the record is a little shaky, but it's to the band's benefit that they retain a desire to not be so serious. At those moments, the Vaccines deliver some rock & roll spark.

tags: the vaccines, combat sports, 2018, flac,

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