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CD Review: The Vaccines

The Vaccines Come of Age (Columbia)

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There's nothing flashy about this British act that's led by a guy who looks like he stepped out of a factory. The Smiths are the obvious point of reference here, and the band effectively evokes them throughout the 11 songs here. Producer Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon, Laura Marling) purposefully sought to make the group sound a bit rougher around the edges, and his touch is apparent right from the start as the prickly opening track "No Hope" pairs snotty vocals with noisy guitars. Johns inflects some bona fide twang into the lounge-y "Weirdo" and lets the guys cut loose on "Aftershave Ocean." While this isn't the "mature" album that the title suggests, it's an excellent effort that suggests these guys will find a Stateside audience before all is said and done.

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