The Vaccines, What Did You Expect from the Vaccines?
So conventional that it shouldn't seem as fresh as it does
What did we expect? Not this. Not a compulsively re-playable rock album with a lovesick streak — the kind of record the Libertines might’ve delivered if they’d pulled themselves together, or that the Strokes might’ve made if they’d fired Julian Casablancas and hired Paul Banks. With booming vocals and riffs aplenty, The Vaccines make a rock ‘n’ roll clatter so conventional that it shouldn’t seem as fresh as it does. But the songs hold up, especially the swelling epic “Family Friend,” the understated “Wetsuit” and the rocket-fueled “Wolf Pack,” to say nothing of “Norgaard,” the jittery 98-second single about a girl who “don’t wanna go steady,” which sounds like something Joey Ramone might’ve written after his long spell with Phil Spector.