The Vaccines Come Of Age isn’t an ironic title, at least not on purpose. The release marks the love-’em-or-…ignore-’em Brit group’s second proper effort. They’re young, kind of annoying and well aware of both those facts.
Are you young? Also a bit obnoxious? Great, then you’ll likely dig Come Of Age. It’s not a completely empty record, affording a few very thoughtful or at least fun cuts. However, it’s a generally missable release for which you won’t feel much remorse.
“No Hope,” the album’s opener, marks the emotional parameters for the next 40 minutes (spoiler alert: apathy by narcissism, feigned hopefulness thick). It could passively appear in any mindless, surfy teen flick I tend to indulge in while hungover and feeling sorry for myself. Which should tell you everything. There’s a morsel of truth among the character drawls, though, ”’Cuz when you’re 24 / And young and bored / And don’t know who you are no more / There’s no hope / And it’s hard to come of age.” Daps, bro.
Come doesn’t strut right out as offensive or even particularly unpleasant as a whole, although I cannot skip “Teenage Icon” quickly enough. The guitar gallop and sterile pop-punk aesthetic makes me instantly regret my lunch selection. Walkmen rip-off “Lonely World” is pretty loathsome too, but at least the sweet, perhaps honest concept is there.
Like I said before, too, there are those savior numbers on here, namely “I Wish I Was A Girl.” The alley cat balls in it admonish Echo & the Bunnymen’s tougher tracks. The recurring line “Life is easy when you’re easy on the eye” needs to appear on a coffee mug that needs to appear in my stocking this Christmas. It’s a concept that’s been done before and better, but that doesn’t negate its well-executed frill here.
The Vaccines Come Of Age isn’t a useless way to pair multitasking with watching your laundry dry. It offers a brief, indulgent and semi-trite mental vacation, which isn’t so uncommon for second efforts and nice in its own way. However, working with such an accomplished producer as Ethan Johns, one would expect something a little more savory to suck on.