The Vaccines

The Vaccines have returned to their roots in Combat Sports, smashing out brash rock’n’roll with sudden outbursts of euphoria. The quartet reinvented itself for 2015’s English Graffiti, when front-man Justin Young morphed into a more pop-focused vocalist. But the singer has returned to his abrasive tone, while the band has brought back the spirit and energy of its earlier days. I Can’t Quit is particularly reminiscent of a younger Vaccines, driven by melodic riffs, catchy lyrics, and charged with a feel-good groove. The album is packed full of the short, punchy tracks typical of the band, dipping in and out of zippy rock songs like Surfing in the Sky, with its fast-paced bass guitar and drums, and contrasting with the slower beat of Rolling Stones​, which merges church-like synths and a heavy percussive backdrop. Combat Sports takes a different turn with Maybe, where gentle guitar arpeggios work to relax the rhythm, and this is followed by Young American, a soft, almost acoustic ballad with delicate vocal harmonies singing about desire and love. As a whole the album features some of The Vaccines’ most catchy and intimate songs to date, without sacrificing their confident, post-punk English sound.

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