Pining for European Sun: The Vaccines, What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?

As sure as the sun shines, you've got expectations of the debut LP from surf popstrels The Vaccines. Injecting the future sounds of 2011 with potent retro, Justin Young's garage revivalists have perfected an indie pop concoction that's presently as intoxicating as any chart cocktail. Skirting around the lethargic sludge of Post Break-Up Sex, What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? is a breath of mothball-scented air, jerking into saucy action with the racy Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra). A slickened If You Wanna follows, sounding as wickedly ramshackle as ever, Young musing jovially on his amorous ambivalence. Track three provides the first insight into 'album material' as it were, A Lack Of Understanding towering, shrouded in melancholia and minor key, a little along the lines of White Lies reared on solitude and The Shangri-Las. It's then back to chartered territory with the rickety Stratocaster whirr of Blow It Up, before The Vaccines come into their own and expectations are well and truly surpassed, the tender Wetsuit drenched in Young's smooth, if vaguely Charlie Fink-esque bellow. Norgaard affirms the quartet's alleged infatuation with "'50's rock'n'roll", "'60's garage" etc. and clocking in at seventeen seconds under two minutes, is as punchy as an Old Firm derby day, saccharine harmonies snatched from a Polyphonic Spree 12" played at 45 RPM cooed beneath Freddie Cowan's shuddering guitars and Árni Hjörvar's protuberant bass line. The celestial All In White is a touch baptismal, those brothers Mumford lining the pews, whilst Family Friend trundles about lyrics of frolic-filled estival months in numb fuzz stupor, substantially elongated by a minute of silence and rough'n'ready ballad denouement. Wolf Pack is about as raucous as it gets, unashamedly tamely bounding joyously to kaleidoscopic choral crescendo, whilst Under Your Thumb, an ode to lounging about "under European sun" is as summery as chilled Capri-Sun on the grotty, Brit-infested coastline of Benicàssim and is utterly skookum, irrefutably worthy of being "totally adored". Whether or not The Vaccines will be quite so cherished following the powering down of the festival circuit and the disappearance of sunshine remains to be seen, yet for now best bask in this frequently startling debut. Whatever you were anticipating, this quite probably betters it.