Album: Come of Age
Artist: The Vaccines
Grade: B-

If rock and roll is perceived as a perpetual adolescence, then The Vaccines are showing signs of growth. Their sophomore album marks an ironic entrance into adulthood. Come of Age pulses with the same youthful energy and angst that drove their debut, only now it’s more mature and refined. Critics yearning for the synonymous dreaded second album from the quintet have been left dumbfounded, with this starkly different variant piece of work.

Tracks like ‘All in Vain’ show that the NME darlings have honed their song writing skills to a fine craft, through mastering loud-soft dynamics, and diversifying their instrumentation to accompany lyrics that still tell of yearning and self-destruction, yet through a more mature and developed sound than their previous work.

The Vaccines are at their best, however, when they play fast, loose and raw, like on the impressive opener ‘No Hope’. The drums pound and guitars roar as Justin Young recklessly howls with an endearing disregard for pitch, not unlike that of Julian Casablancas.

The only faults on this record come when the band gets lethargic, disregarding their new found experimentation and falling back into their maudlin comfort zone with songs such as ‘Change of Heart Pt. 2’. Otherwise this is a band that is surely developing, yet still able to tap into raw teenage power.

In a Nutshell: Raucous restlessness with a new-found purpose.