That said, The Vaccines probably welcome the calm. Rinse off all the buzz surrounding that first album and beneath we'd a bright-and-proper rock bro'hood victim to a few mad-heavy comparisons. With Come of Age - another beautifully tongue-in-cheek title - their yen to move past the ra-ra-ra-ra-rallying is written all over their Shaggy Rogers-raggedy getup. The breakneck guitars haven't gone, only they're loads tighter, plus there's a longer-lasting intimate vibe; it feels like a band with real conviction.
Delicate singer/guitarist Justin Young's vocals are less yelpy, more Kay Burley, and waaay candid to boot. "I promise you I'm telling you the truth," he vows in the confessional 'No Hope', before agonising he's no fit role model ('Teenage Icon'), insisting he's not a fruitcake ('Weirdo') and aspiring to be a girl ('I Wish I Was a Girl'). Other than being the closest thing indie has to Alex Reid, Young and his sincerity sure make for a gripping listen.
'Aftershave Ocean's fuzzy Capri Sun melodies rightly provoke that Strokes tag again, and the album's bluesy, personal feeling peaks in finale 'Lonely World', an aching love story met with sappy strings. It really does appear as though these have been tranquillised by a less-wacko Libertines or something. Little was wrong with the anthems of before, but this new, uninhibited tactic is intriguing and has led to one of 2012's finest. The Vaccines come of age? Nah, we ain't seen nothing yet.
Tracks to download: 'Teenage Icon', 'Aftershave Ocean', 'Weirdo', 'Lonely World'
If you like this, you'll like: The Strokes, The Black Keys, Spector
Watch the video for The Vaccines' 'Teenage Icon' below: