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  • The Vaccines

Few modern British guitar bands have had such an instant impact as The Vaccines. Emerging in the summer of 2010 with blend of retro surf punk, Ramones guitars and Everly Brothers pop hooks, their high octane, ultra-melodic sound saw them instantly adopted as the hot new guitar band on the block. The London four-piece – Justin Hayward-Young (vocals/guitar), Freddie Cowan (guitar), Arni Arnason (bass) and Pete Robertson (drums) had only formed in early 2010, but in early 2011, debut album What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? Quickly achieved platinum status. Just 18 months later, the follow-up, Come Of Age, hit Number One. It was a mercurial rise, not least because guitar pop was unfashionable at the time and Young had previously been a struggling singer-songwriter. Under the monicker Jay Jay Pistolet, he’d hauled himself up and down the motorway to small audiences before forming The Vaccines and writing the songs that changed the game. Thus The Vaccines’ game-changing third album, English Graffiti, in which they tear up the plans and see what happens as they fall around them. The elements of the old Vaccines sound remain – certainly in the buzzsaw pop rushes of Handsome, 20/20 and Radio Bikini – but their sonic palette is completely different. An eclectic and surprising adventurous musical mix with songs that acknowledge the Eighties pop of ELO and Duran Duran, while sounding firmly of the now.  The new sound has been achieved by first stockpiling over 50 songs – Young writes every day – and then working on the best in an upstate New York studio with Flaming Lips producer Dave Fridmann and Cole MGN, whose name is synonymous with sample-based pop and R&B, not guitar rock. “I remember writing those songs on the first record thinking they were good enough to headline the Barfly with,” he chuckles. “Everything we’ve done and achieved has been so above everything we ever expected, but I do think we’re a great band and that English Graffiti is a great record. Good music triumphs in the end. I’m immensely proud of it.”