Friday, 6 September 2013

The Vaccines - Melody Calling EP

Credit must be given to The Vaccines for pinning down a new sound for Melody Calling. They've been at the centre of attention for the last three years in Britain after releasing their debut album What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? Its title will go down in history, as for the music, not quite. Although The Vaccines' debut is a half hour thriller of complete indie rock / garage rock, it never actually educates or intrigues the listener past the age of 16. It's like the GCSE album that you listen to before leaving school. That option of A-levels is always there, but  sophomore album Come of Age was more like a BTEC in hair dressing. Finally, Melody Calling, The Vaccines A-level release. It's here, we've been waiting for it, and the failing GCSE students of Great Britain can't accept The Vaccines realisation that they're not fools, idiots, or below par. Melody Calling's music content refers to the title. The London quartet have been calling for some melody ever since Justin Young poorly sung "A Lack of Understanding". The Vaccines showed signs of progression on their covers EP Please Please Do Not Disturb, recorded while on tour. It gave the listener a deeper insight in to their influences and likes, Wire, Jonathan Richman, and Nick Lowe. These are decent covers of very very good songs written by some of the best artists ever. Knowing this, The Vaccines stopped what they were doing, took one listen to Beach Fossils and began writing and recording Melody Calling.

Without offending more students that have just received their GCSE grades... The Vaccines. The self-titled track kicks off the EP with some of the bands best work to date. It may actually be their best song. It takes the repressing indie pop drum beat and dream pop guitar to create something light, easy, you know, that general smoothness that crossover dream pop has. It's not to abrasive, though in The Vaccines element, they have to include some of this grunge, gritty guitar, otherwise they could have released this anonymously and nobody would be able to tell whether this is The Vaccines or The Drums. "Do You Want a Man?" uses the same distorted lead riff as Babyshambles "Fuck Forever", something you may notice, but The Vaccines have hidden it well - I hear behind your wall of sound boys. "Do You Want a Man?" is a respectable track with a catchy refrain sang well by Young and his backing vocalists. Melody Calling has been produced by John Hill and Rich Costey. Both have credits for remixing "Do You Want a Man?" and this version sounds far cleaner and funky than the original. Young's vocal is R&B-esque while singing the songs refrain.

"Everybody's Gonna Let You Down" is a passive track that’s neither the garage rock humble beginnings nor the sweet melodic sound. It's somewhere in between both, but at the same time lost. It opens with a thudding guitar riff, yet the vocals suggest otherwise. Opening in this fashion suggests a heavier, louder track that margins grunge. Instead the vocals Young gives and the lead guitar tell something completely different. It's not exactly the step forward The Vaccines are looking for, however one track doesn't sum up Melody Calling. This EP was definitely needed. The Vaccines would've tired audiences out if they kept churning out the same stuff over and over again. Gladly they combat their own fears of being forgotten by releasing this advanced EP. There's greater structures here, better vocals and straight up honesty of their true music passion. The Vaccines are heading upwards.


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