Album Review: The Vaccines – Melody Calling EP

By on Wednesday, 21st August 2013 at 12:00 pm

The-Vaccines-Melody-Calling-coverIt has been a while since we’ve gotten any sort of meaty release from The Vaccines, but the wait was over earlier this month. The raucous rock band released their ‘Melody Calling’ EP, a set of three new songs and a remix. If you’ve gotten used to their mostly loud and boisterous sound of their first two albums, 2011’s ‘What Did You Expect from the Vaccines?’ and 2012’s ‘Come of Age’, then this EP might come as a bit of a shock, as Cheryl attested to it in this In the Post feature last month. I’ll explore that sentiment further in this EP review.

Title track ‘Melody Calling’ sees the West Londoners embrace a ’60s / ’70s Eagles-ish sound, with driving guitars and certainly less shrill and less insistent vocals from the usually screamy Justin Hayward-Young. The first time I heard this on Steve Lamacq’s drivetime show on 6music, I would have never guessed it was the Vaccines until Lammo himself announced who the song was by. While the song has a mostly chill Californian vibe, there’s a brief – all too brief – guitar solo. I would have appreciated more shredding. True to its title, ‘Everybody’s Gonna Let You Down’ is a hangdog kind of song, which chugs along in okay but not terribly inspiring fashion.

In contrast, better guitar work is to be had in ‘Do You Want a Man’. You can just see this soundtracking future television adverts showing off summer: with its freewheeling style, which includes what sounds like distorted honky tonk piano (harpsichord?) and a chorus and outro that you can sing along to, this is a much more fun song. The EP concludes with a remix of the song by the EP’s producers, production heavyweights Jon Hill and Rich Costey. The very ’70s sound will make you want to break out the bell bottoms and platform heels. But the concluding effort on the release comes across as a caricature. Anyone who’s been pumping their fists at the Vaccines’ festival appearances over the last couple of years will be facepalming right about now.

While the Vaccines’ brand of lad rock 2 years ago proved polarising, I can’t help but wonder what prompted the band’s change of direction. The days of the immediacy of ‘Norgaard’ and ‘Wrecking Ball (Ra Ra Ra)’, the sheer poppiness of ‘Teenage Icon’ and ‘No Hope’, or even the hipster angst of ‘Post Break-Up Sex’ and ‘Wetsuit’ are gone. Whether the public will take to this new version of the Vaccines remains to be seen. It’s interesting that Cheryl viewed this change of direction in title track ‘Melody Calling’ in her In the Post article as a sign of maturity; to me, the change in direction on the EP as a whole seems to indicate the band’s losing the plot.


The Vaccines’ ‘Melody Calling’ EP is out now on Columbia Records.

Tags: , , , , ,

2 Responses

12:02 pm
21st August 2013

New post: Album Review: The Vaccines @TheRealVaccines – Melody Calling EP:

[…] recent Vaccines, which in my opinion can only be a good thing after that train wreck known as ‘Melody Calling’. You can just see the punters now, throwing their bodies round a circle mosh pit at a festival to […]

Leave Your Response

* Name, Email, Comment are Required

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

RSS Feed   RSS Feed  

Learn More About Us

Privacy Policy

Keep TGTF online for years to come!
Donate here.