Sick from lack of cool, new bands? The Vaccines have the cure 

OK, so it’s only January.

But we’ll go out on a prognosticating limb here and say this: The coolest new band you’ll hear all year is an angular little British quartet called The Vaccines.

No joke.

Their debut disc, coming in March — bearing the snarky title “What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?” — clocks in at a rapid-fire 35 minutes, but compresses so much Ramones-tight, Goth-tinged melody into said space it’s simply stunning.



All with an echo-y, Link-Wray-meets-Phil-Spector twist. (Picture England’s wonderfully gloomy Editors if they were weaned on safety-pin punk.)

Catacomb-voiced frontman Justin Young is no naif, though.

As Jay Jay Pistolet, he struggled to make it in London’s recent neo-folk scene, and even roomed with some Mumford & Sons members. “But creatively, I just didn’t feel like I was hitting the nail on the head — I thought I’d hit a brick wall with it, and I lost all my drive and my interest in it, really,” he said last week, as The Vaccines prepared to conquer New York. But once he met equally depressed guitarist Freddie Cowan, their songwriting sped up, until they were sparking kinetic volleys like “Blow It Up,” “Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)” and “Post Break-Up Sex.”

“The themes are love and jealousy and anger and all that kind of youthful young-man stuff,” Young explains. “So it’s just a direct pop record, straight to the point but hopefully familiar. It’s a real what-you-see-is-what-you-get record, that’s for sure.”

Get ready to have your butt thoroughly kicked.

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Tom Lanham

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